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Ask a Guru - Game Development Edition

SimGuruDrakeSimGuruDrake Posts: 1,648 SimGuru (retired)
Hello everyone!

So through my conversations with some of you in a few different threads I wanted to provide you with an opportunity to ask your questions regarding development / communications that you've been wanting to ask. Please keep in mind that there are some things that we cannot talk about and if we remark that we cannot comment please respect that.

Some disclaimers:

- This thread is to allow for closer communication between the Studio and our community members for a more open dialogue. Please remember that if you ask questions on how something could be developed (like a lounge chair) and we provide an answer that it isn't confirmation it's going to be developed and if you ask a question about an idea and anyone on the team says "I love that idea" it isn't a promise that it will happen - we just love the idea.

- Questions do not have to be specific to The Sims 4, if you've had a question about something related to The Sims 3 or older and we have someone who can answer it we will try our best to get it answered :)

- Be respectful of your fellow community members. Do not name call or shoot down someone's question. If you see that a question similar to their's was answered previously then politely link them to the answer.

- Comments that are made that are not productive to the conversation will be removed from the thread (and depending on how severe they are will receive a warning).

- This thread will be closed from time to time to allow the team to answer questions without having new ones drown out the previous ones. Once questions have been answered the thread will be re-opened.

Now let's all work together to build a more positive community and a more open dialogue between you and Studio. :)
Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
Global Community Manager for Maxis / The Sims

Comments

  • ArlettaArletta Posts: 8,444 Member
    edited August 2016
    In broad strokes, how does a pack come into being, from concept to announcement? Answered

    Is there a method for deciding what becomes free content and what becomes paid content? If so, in broad strokes, can you describe?
    Answered

    How do you decide which object goes in which pack?
    Answered

    What is the other 95% of SimGuruDrake's job? Answered

    Will Simgurugraham say hi to me if I ask really nicely?
    Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruLyndsay on
  • ArlettaArletta Posts: 8,444 Member
    edited August 2016
    Oh, yes, and most importantly what is your favourite type of coffee and/or hot beverage if you have one? Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruLyndsay on
  • lejoninnalejoninna Posts: 4,287 Member
    edited August 2016
    who came up with the name "voidcritters" and how? it's very neat
  • PixelsimmerPixelsimmer Posts: 2,350 Member
    edited August 2016
    Thanks for creating this thread! It's a very good idea! I hope it contributes to a more positive environment around here.

    I was wondering how long does it usually take for you to create a stuff pack / game pack / expansion pack (from concept to release)? What are the factors that influence timing? Are delays common?

    Also I was wondering why developing EPs seems to take longer with Ts4 than with TS3 or TS2. Is it a matter of resources? (Perhaps the former EP team has divided into EP and GP) or is it because you work with more flexible deadlines? Is it a matter of marketing perhaps (so that Gps and EPs don't overlap)?

    Finally I was wondering what kind of questions we can ask here...can we give suggestions too? Or ask about what would be technically feasible (eg. A difficulty slider)?


    Questions Answered Here.
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
  • BluebellFloraBluebellFlora Posts: 7,033 Member
    edited August 2016
    Do you have an active Mac team working on the OS X/macOS version of Sims 4 or do you use a 3rd party? - Answered

    Do you have anyone who can look at Sims 3 Mac issues or is that no longer possible because the game is no longer supported by the 3rd party development team EA used to port the game using Cider?
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
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  • HIFreeBirdIHHIFreeBirdIH Posts: 1,410 Member
    edited August 2016
    Thank you for doing something like this so that we can have better communication!

    For my question... Let's see...
    For people who work on art and/or modeling, where do you draw inspiration from for the CASsets that you create? Do you look through fashion magazines? Through pictures of clothing people have modeled related to that theme? Or do you just let them develop as you work, eventually finding something that sticks and build off of that?
    - Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
    Just some random Simmer you probably don't even follow on the gallery! Gallery name's the same as my username! Did I just rhyme there?
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  • Fonxi121994Fonxi121994 Posts: 421 Member
    edited August 2016
    How many development stages do you have for The Sims 4 packs? Do you make a lot of conceptual art? - Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
    The changes came slowly at first. Most didn't realize, or didn't care, and accepted them. They chose a comfortable life.
  • BabySquareBabySquare Posts: 7,221 Member
    Very pack-specific, as I've been pondering it for some time now;

    If you plan on adding weather (which I REALLY hope you do), how will different weather types work vis-a-vis the sky/clouds we've currently got?

    (I'm guessing there would be different skies depending on what type of whether is happening, but going by how the sky/cloud system works I'd be curious to see how this would work.)
    Gallery ID: babysquare
  • SimsILikeSimsSimsILikeSims Posts: 1,284 Member
    edited August 2016
    How do you choose which EP's, GP's and SP's to add next, from all the available suggestions and ideas? What goes into the decision-making process? Is it possible to give an example from already released content? - Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
  • BabySquareBabySquare Posts: 7,221 Member
    Are there any themes from packs added to previous sims games that you have decided NOT to include in this version of the sims?
    Gallery ID: babysquare
  • mskubemskube Posts: 483 Member
    Thank you for this thread it's such a great idea. I would love to know more tidbits about the townie backstories from TS2 and TS3. As well as new townies like Jasmine Holiday, and Paolo Rocco and Ernesto I can't remember his last name. One of my favorites I know not everyone likes him but I have always liked Christopher Steel.
  • The_SimScraperThe_SimScraper Posts: 2,083 Member
    edited August 2016
    Thank you for doing something like this so that we can have better communication!

    For my question... Let's see...
    For people who work on art and/or modeling, where do you draw inspiration from for the CASsets that you create? Do you look through fashion magazines? Through pictures of clothing people have modeled related to that theme? Or do you just let them develop as you work, eventually finding something that sticks and build off of that?
    Answered

    Ooh! I like this one! I'd also like to know, are the concept artists inspired by recent trends or that of years past? :) - Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
  • LenaDieters11LenaDieters11 Posts: 1,346 Member
    edited August 2016
    How do you come up with the story lines for premades? Answered
    Post edited by SimGuruLyndsay on
  • LindaPPLindaPP Posts: 2 New Member
    do you ever think you could remove loading screens lot to lot in a neighbourhood?
  • Tamila0Tamila0 Posts: 2 New Member
    The Sims 4 will be maintained for more than 5 years?
  • ScobreScobre Posts: 16,839 Member
    edited August 2016
    Nice idea for a thread and made me want to log on and thank you for making it @SimGuruDrake. I do have a few questions regarding Gamescom that changed my viewpoint to no longer thinking the Sims 4 direction will never favor me as a player.
    Anyway, what can you elaborate on what the production team does and why they need to be a different company that handles Sims decisions?
    Source:


    I'm a little confused on the Expansion explanation: "Expansion packs – These are more like multiple storylines, spread broadly but not necessarily deep. Again all playstyles should be covered."
    https://julyvee94.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/the-sims-panel-and-my-experience-at-gamescom-2016/

    Why can't EPs be deep? Why does it seem like they omit some playstyles, when supposively all playstyles should be covered? EPs have always been my favorite so it really disappointed me that the vision and direction of GPs seemed more clearer than the EP's vision. Personally I liked having EPs more focused to flesh out a theme more. I like when they include a lifestate aka supernatural and a new world or in the Sims 4 case a new neighborhood. So far GTW and GT seem to have omitted some playstyles, so does each EP focus only on one? This is in relation to EPs as a product, not so much on future info on them. I'm just curious about further explanation on each pack type in a general sense.

    Lately I noticed Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs pyramid was shared taken from this site: http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
    Maslow-hierarchy-792x442.jpg
    https://www.platinumsimmers.com/articles/the-sims-4-how-we-make-the-game-panel/
    I did study this in school, so it was really interesting learning this concept applied to the Sims while attending college.

    So according to the pyramid, why are only sections of the pyramid represented for each iteration? Does that mean that not all the needs are met?
    It shows why the Sims 1 and 2 seem to appeal to me more I've noticed, since my play styles fall under the bottom three sections. Any plans of including the needs as a whole or will it be separated? Why does it feel like transcendence wasn't included in the Sims 4 vision? Since the Sims 4 is reaching the top of the pyramid, so does that mean that the future of the Sims will use a different theory in development of future games?

    Sorry I know all of my questions are quite deep and I know probably not all of them can be answered. But it was enlightening finding out with Gamescom why Sims 4 was alienating my play styles because of how Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs was being applied. I personally think it is flawed unless applied fully. Like a math equation, it doesn't work the same when divided into parts. It becomes something else completely. I do think that the Sims 1 and 2 did apply a lot of the pyramid in the game which is why those iterations worked out so well.

    The Sims 2 studio fire, was that true or a hoax? I've wanted to know this answer for years and even a former Sims 2 Maxoid wasn't able to answer it.
    Post edited by SimGuruDrake on
    "The Sneetches got really quite smart on that day. The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars." -Dr. Seuss

    Everyone is a Simmer.
  • Tamila0Tamila0 Posts: 2 New Member
    There is the opportunity to open Neighbourhood? To one district Sims can walk with no loading screen?
  • ehaught58ehaught58 Posts: 2,698 Member
    Thank you so much for opening communications with this thread, @SimGuruDrake . This is something I have been pushing for a long time and I appreciate you and the Sims4 team stepping up to the task. Now, let me see if I can ask a question in such a way that you can answer it without the usual reply "we can't talk about that."
    Is it possible for terrain tools to be added in the future to the game with the current game engine?
    I hope that I asked this in a way that it can be answered. Thanks again for this thread. :)
    SZVLCEa.png
    "If you build it, they will come." - Movie: Field of Dreams
  • lotrlover5858lotrlover5858 Posts: 9 New Member
    I've got some questions in regards to building. First, is there a possibility of foundations being be able to be toggled on and off? I like using foundations for patios, decks, and pools, but not so much on houses. Secondly, will there ever be different stairs? I really miss the spiral stairs from Sims 2. My understanding is that a ladder isn't possible, which is disappointing because I wanted a ladder for building tree houses for the Sim kids to play in. I really hope that swings, merry-go-rounds, and other playground items return for Sims 4 and that an island world comes some day. Lastly, I wish that there would be a Sims 4: Castaway, a sequel to the Sims 2: Castaway but for PCs and allowing babies. I really wanted to play Sims Castaway Stories but it's not available on Origin :(
  • ArlettaArletta Posts: 8,444 Member
    edited August 2016
    What is the role of a producer?

    Is it technically feasible to unattach babies from cribs? On the same wavelength, would they then be able to be attached or need to be to something else? Don't get too technical, it confuses me.

    What changed between TS3 and TS4 that makes the communication, in regards to packs, we now have? Is it the live service? Something else?

    Outside of The Sims, what is your favourite game and genre?

    Where is your favourite destination?

    If you play The Sims, what kind of player are you?

    Through all the iterations, do you have a favourite pack? If so, what?


    Do you mind non-serious questions?

    Some Answers Here
    Post edited by SimGuruLyndsay on
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