Hello Simmers! SimGuruConor, lead designer for The Sims 4 Community Stuff Pack here. I hope everyone is staying safe in these crazy times (Thankfully there's plenty of great videogames out right now to keep us occupied. You know what I’m talking about!).
Today, let's take a deep dive into one of our new gameplay systems, the Create-A-Sim Knitting Unlock System! Please note that this pack is still in development and things can (and will!) change between now and when the pack is released.
As many of you know, most outfits are already unlocked by default in The Sims 4. With the exception of some clothing rewards, most everything is readily available for all Sims to wear. This helps you tell the story you want to tell right out of the box, but I didn’t feel this system was ideal for a pack designed around Sims knitting their own clothing.
For knitted clothing like sweaters and beanies, Sims will have to create - and unlock - them through gameplay. Once you have finished crafting a knitted project it will be in your Sim’s inventory. Select Add to Wardrobe to unlock that clothing piece for the entire household. So if your knitter extraordinaire Sim knits a really fabulous sweater, everyone in their family can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Makes sense right? Cool. But here’s the fun part!
We’re making the crafted clothing visible in Create-a-Sim before you have unlocked it. This way you can browse all the potential knitted items before you craft them. This will help guide you on your Sim’s knitting journey, and show you which skill levels are required to craft certain recipes. We’ve never given visibility to locked Create-A-Sim items before, and I’m really excited to get this in game for our knittables!
To help illustrate what I mean, here is a concept our UX team (more about them below!) mocked-up.
Something like this felt absolutely necessary for a pack heavily focused on crafting clothing, and it helps our knitted clothing feel special and unique.
Alternatively, you don't have to unlock any clothing for your household. Maybe you just enjoy gifting sweaters to others? Maybe you only donate socks to charity? Maybe you’d like to frog the entire thing and start again? Whatever the case, knitted clothing will stay in your Sim’s inventory until you decide what's best for it.
I plan to devote a proper forum post on the other neat things you can do with knitted items at a later date. But for now, how about an early preview for some of the knitted clothing inventory icons? Spoilers below!
Now I’d like to introduce Justin Allen, our UX Designer for this pack. I did a little Q&A with Justin to give you some additional insights into the development process.Conor:
Can you tell us what UX is, and what it means to be a UX designer?Justin:
In short, UX (User Experience) is designing the over-all experience and flow within a game and its features. We work hard to design the experiences so that many different levels and types of players can enjoy their time while in the world of The Sims. I love knowing that I am part of a passionate team that strives to create the best experience we can for our players. I try to constantly visit YouTube channels and different forums to see what players are enjoying and what may be frustrating them within The Sims 4. I try to keep that knowledge in mind when designing feature flows.Conor:
What were some challenges you faced while designing the Create-A-Sim Knitting Unlock System?Justin:
The big challenge with the Create-A-Sim Knitting Unlock System was to make it visible and interesting, without it being intrusive or overwhelming. We want players to see the locked items and feel encouraged to explore how to unlock the items. It was also important to us to create a system that can continue to evolve and be utilized with other features in future packs for The Sims 4.Conor:
What is your favorite feature you have ever worked on in The Sims 4?Justin:
I am pretty new to The Sims 4 team (I was working on some other projects within EA before joining Maxis). But, I loved working on the Tiny Living Stuff Pack. It was a fun challenge to design the UI updates to Build Mode, and a lot of fun to play. I am super excited by some things I’m working on that are coming in future packs, but I can’t talk about those right now, sorry! I am very proud to be working on a game that has such active and amazing players.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at what’s happening on our newest Stuff Pack! I’d like to continue sharing little deep-dive posts like this in the future, so keep watching the forums.