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Grant Rodiek’s and Jake Solomon's Midsummer Studios Life Simulation Game vs. Sims 5 (Rene)?

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simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
https://www.midsummerstudios.com/

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Jake Solomon is a gaming industry veteran responsible for Marvel's Midnight Suns and the modern XCOM franchise.

In March 2023, it was reported that he left 2K's Firaxis studio in February after 23 years. (XCOM’s Jake Solomon is forming a new studio and ‘likely won’t make a turn-based game’)

He stated:
XCOM director said he would likely make a simulation title, rather than another turn-based strategy game.

“My intention, if anybody gives me the funding for it, is to open my own studio locally and make a new kind of game,” he said. “I can’t move too far away from what my experience is. I’m a creative director, but the truth is I’m actually a very in-the-weeds system designer.

“I make games as a creative director but I actually end up designing a lot of the systems for the games. Even on Midnight Suns, I had some amazing designers but I ended up designing individual heroes, enemies and their abilities

“System design is important to me, so I want to make a systems-based game. I think it won’t be turn-based strategy… I want to make something that’s more of a life simulator or a simulation-style game. That’s the plan.”

In December 2023, Rock Paper Shotgun reported a new interview with Jake Solomon ("Jake Solomon uncut: here's our post-Firaxis GDC interview in full")

Some excerpts:
You mentioned that you were quite excited by the idea of a life sim game. What life sims have you played over the years? What is it about them that you enjoy?

There's a number of things that appeal. Without talking specifically about what it is I want to do, I think that the appeal of life sims is kind of manifold, but I think that, one, it's just life in miniature, right? From model train sets to doll houses to army men, there's something about life in miniature that I think is just naturally appealing. And I think the power of having the life that you want? You think like, 'Oh my gosh, simulating life, like, I already have a life and that feels like enough work!' But being able to have a different life and a life you want, I think it's really, really appealing.

Is it those stories that emerge from within the simulation that get you fired up?

Yeah, I think that everything feels original, there's a lot of procedural-ness to it, right? And then everything feels original to you because it's procedural. And when it feels original, it feels authentic. And it feels shareable. Even if it's just turning to your partner and saying, 'You're never going to believe what just happened!' Whether it's Dwarf Fortress, or whether it's The Sims or whatever it is, simulation can create some really fun experiences.

Now that you're looking more towards the live sim genre, has there been a lot of iteration in it in from your point of view, or is there still room to do something new?

Well, Paradox and Ron Humble just did a really neat [thing]. I mean, I thought that that take on that straight up life sim was unique. It's interesting to look at. There's a lot of village simulations, right? So I don't know if it's pejorative yet but cosy games, right? There's a sim-ish nature to that even down to Stardew and things like that. And then to see something like Dwarf Fortress go from ASCII to actual graphics and then seeing how popular that is, I think that there's been iteration. But definitely to me, I see an opportunity. As a designer, I see a lot of ways that I'd love to jump in and have my own take on this.

SimmerErin recently published a video on the news:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoSikTTHTBQ

What do you think? Have you played any of his games? Personally, I find his background intriguing. I like that he stated that he's been focused on systems-building; this can lend itself to the life simulation genre. In the Sims series, I've always enjoyed in-depth gameplay systems.





_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[UPDATE]
Grant Rodiek (formerly SimGuruGrant is joining game)
https://www.polygon.com/24155607/the-sims-midsummer-studios-jake-solomon-xcom

Details about funding and how it will be different from The Sims as well as use of AI agents for NPCs
https://variety.com/2024/gaming/news/the-sims-vets-game-developer-midsummer-studios-trevor-noah-day-zero-productions-1236001094/
He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
Post edited by simmerorigin on

Comments

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    OldeseadoggeOldeseadogge Posts: 5,000 Member
    An interesting possibility but this is so preliminary that it could be several years before anything appears. There is not even a small studio let alone any work being done. Never played any of his games so for me this is a blank slate.
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    ChampandGirlieChampandGirlie Posts: 2,482 Member
    I don't know him but Firaxis makes one of my other favorite games, Civilization. That's a fantastic and entirely different strategy game. The quality is likely to be high but as noted above, this is entirely speculative. I've got no clue what I'll want to do years from now.

    The bottomline is that there's a gaming audience. The proportion of the population that plays computer games only increases rather than decreases. This is probably a growing space and there's probably a lot of demand for quality games that are put out there. Games are probably more popular than movies at this point.
    Champ and Girlie are dogs.
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    logionlogion Posts: 4,739 Member
    edited January 9
    I have played Firaxis recent XCOM games and also Marvel's Midnight Suns and I was pretty disappointed to hear that he left the company because Jake was kinda iconic to the XCOM franchise, many people associated him with it and with him gone the chance of ever seeing XCOM 3 looks a bit slim.

    Anyway, for the games that he was involved in I did notice how there were some sims influences. You could design and customize your soldiers in those games. In XCOM: Enemy Unknown you could customize your soldiers, give them names and change their faces etc. In XCOM 2 and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen we could customize our soldiers even more, we could give them backgrounds and with mod support we could give the soldiers a lot of different looks, you often ended up giving your soldiers different personalities as well based on their voices. Soldiers could also form bonds with each other and after a finished mission you could take photos where your soldiers could do different poses, so the soldiers felt a bit like sims in a way.

    In Marvel's Midnight Suns, which was the last game Jake worked on you did not have soldiers really since you were playing as super heroes, but you could form relationships with them and hang out with them.

    Hearing that Jake wants to make a life-simulation game is both surprising and not so surprising. Surprising because I think a lot of people associate with him making turn-based combat games but not surprising because the games he have been involved in had sims-like influences so that might explain why he would like to make a life-simulation game.
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    logion wrote: »
    Helpful context. Thanks for sharing!
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    Horrorgirl6Horrorgirl6 Posts: 3,265 Member
    Well maybe it won't be years.
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    passionfruitpassionfruit Posts: 204 Member
    I haven't played any of his games, so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    edited May 14
    Wow! Ex-Game Director of Project Rene is working for this competitor:

    https://www.polygon.com/24155607/the-sims-midsummer-studios-jake-solomon-xcom

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    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    edited May 14
    $6M raised, plus more details about what sets it apart from The Sims and other competitors - it uses AI agents for NPCs

    https://variety.com/2024/gaming/news/the-sims-vets-game-developer-midsummer-studios-trevor-noah-day-zero-productions-1236001094/

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    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    logionlogion Posts: 4,739 Member
    Very interesting, this sounds promising. And they will already have a demo available this year? That's impressive, they must have worked on it for a while then.

    It sounds like a modern attempt at making a life simulator, I wonder what the graphics will be like.
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    edited May 14
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    Horrorgirl6Horrorgirl6 Posts: 3,265 Member
    My poor wallet.:/
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    KathykinsKathykins Posts: 1,897 Member
    I've not played any of Solomon's games (turn-based combat is not my cup of tea), and the only one I can think of from Firaxis is Civilization, but that was eons ago. Interesting that they got Grant Rodiek on the team too, though. I'm wishing them all the luck in the world.

    I doubt this will be a game for me. I never decide on a story before I play, and I never play out actual stories. What happens in game happens, there are usually very few surprises in TS4, and nothing bad unless you make it so. I don't have the energy to create stories. I know a lot of other simmers do, though, so this will be great for them! Of course, depending on how they like the art style etc.
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    SimburianSimburian Posts: 6,916 Member
    Sid Meier's SimGolf was a video game developed by Firaxis. Lovely little game and you could import your Sims from Sims 1. Just sayin!
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    edited May 15
    Studio has a website:

    https://www.midsummerstudios.com/

    Will be made in Unreal Engine:
    0f1qzl39dcch.png
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    SimmingalSimmingal Posts: 9,051 Member
    edited May 15
    Still, not interested unless I see dragons :sweat_smile:

    I feel it is so strange how there is so many life simulations popping up now
    and yet none of them are taking on any kind of occult or historical elements
    even just simulating different time period would be immediately more interesting
    ⭐️ AHQ Champion 🦇 Vlad Advocate 🐉 Team Dragons
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    edited May 15
    Pixelade - "SIMS DIRECTOR LEAVES EA TO MAKE A NEW LIFE SIMULATION GAME!! 😱"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK_x3YkE8-E
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    simgirl1010simgirl1010 Posts: 36,084 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    Still, not interested unless I see dragons :sweat_smile:

    I feel it is so strange how there is so many life simulations popping up now
    and yet none of them are taking on any kind of occult or historical elements
    even just simulating different time period would be immediately more interesting

    Well I'm not particularly waiting for dragons but it does seem all the current games in development are offering a much more realistic gameplay and art style experience. (Except LBY. Those characters are just plain scary.)

    No grim reaper, cow plant, money trees, ambrosia, Patchy, and occults, as you mentioned, and so much more. None of the whimsy and silliness that The Sims is known for. At least none that I'm aware of. And that's what I've come to appreciate and enjoy.

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    Horrorgirl6Horrorgirl6 Posts: 3,265 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    Still, not interested unless I see dragons :sweat_smile:

    I feel it is so strange how there is so many life simulations popping up now
    and yet none of them are taking on any kind of occult or historical elements
    even just simulating different time period would be immediately more interesting

    Well I'm not particularly waiting for dragons but it does seem all the current games in development are offering a much more realistic gameplay and art style experience. (Except LBY. Those characters are just plain scary.)

    No grim reaper, cow plant, money trees, ambrosia, Patchy, and occults, as you mentioned, and so much more. None of the whimsy and silliness that The Sims is known for. At least none that I'm aware of. And that's what I've come to appreciate and enjoy.

    I think some these games will come with supernaturuals
    I never saw these games as replacements for the sims.
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    Still, not interested unless I see dragons :sweat_smile:

    I feel it is so strange how there is so many life simulations popping up now
    and yet none of them are taking on any kind of occult or historical elements
    even just simulating different time period would be immediately more interesting

    Well I'm not particularly waiting for dragons but it does seem all the current games in development are offering a much more realistic gameplay and art style experience. (Except LBY. Those characters are just plain scary.)

    No grim reaper, cow plant, money trees, ambrosia, Patchy, and occults, as you mentioned, and so much more. None of the whimsy and silliness that The Sims is known for. At least none that I'm aware of. And that's what I've come to appreciate and enjoy.

    Too early to tell that these games won't eventually have whimsical and supernatural elements IMO.
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    KathykinsKathykins Posts: 1,897 Member
    Simburian wrote: »
    Sid Meier's SimGolf was a video game developed by Firaxis. Lovely little game and you could import your Sims from Sims 1. Just sayin!

    I played that back in the day :D Enjoyed it a lot
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    PandoraTOPandoraTO Posts: 460 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    Still, not interested unless I see dragons :sweat_smile:

    I feel it is so strange how there is so many life simulations popping up now
    and yet none of them are taking on any kind of occult or historical elements
    even just simulating different time period would be immediately more interesting

    Well I'm not particularly waiting for dragons but it does seem all the current games in development are offering a much more realistic gameplay and art style experience. (Except LBY. Those characters are just plain scary.)

    No grim reaper, cow plant, money trees, ambrosia, Patchy, and occults, as you mentioned, and so much more. None of the whimsy and silliness that The Sims is known for. At least none that I'm aware of. And that's what I've come to appreciate and enjoy.

    Same. I'm waiting to see which new game will have the silliness, drama and mayhem I'm really craving. I know we've only seen bits and pieces of the games in development so far, but what I have seen is just normal daily life stuff, so I'm not really excited about any of them yet.
    Gallery ID: PandoraTO
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    LeGardePourpreLeGardePourpre Posts: 15,353 Member
    The timing is bad, it might be too late for me.

    I'm losing inspiration to tell stories and I became lazy.
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    rjssimrjssim Posts: 1,344 Member
    Well, if it doesn't have a shopping cart icon directly in the gameplay or isn't considering to push ads in the game like a certain company is doing to a game I know, I would be interested in seeing where this goes!
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    simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 1,470 Member
    edited May 17
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Sims 2 wants-based rotational player, Sims 3 legacy 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
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    CK213CK213 Posts: 20,545 Member
    edited May 18
    Wow, I did not know this was a thing.
    I am glad they are joining in.

    "Emergent player stories."
    That is definitely my play style. I allow whatever happens in my game to roll into my scenario and allow the plot to go where it wills. But this requires a game that offers up surprises and has some cause and effect dynamics. I will be watching out for this game.
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