I was just looking through EA's Career Opportunities and found this, dated February 26, 2020 for Maxis
at the Redwood, California studio:
It is a post for Senior Character Artist "to help establish the look of our characters for a new, unannounced project"
. Furthermore, applicants seeking this position should be "a visionary character artist who is adept at stylization, artistic interpretation and a deep experience in character pipelines, bringing the latest trends in technology to bear against your craft, and mentoring others to develop excellent experiences for new and existing IP"
. So this new, unannounced project may well be The Sims 5! If this is about The Sims 5, then they are well into the production phase, not just pre-production.
also found another post for with similar description: "Maxis is looking for a Technical Artist Generalist. We are gearing up for our next productions and we need some passionate teammates to collaborate with to bring our new characters & worlds to life. If you are passionate about bringing the latest trends in technology to bear against your craft, and collaborating with others to develop best in class experiences for new IPs...."
Another thing that I took away from this post is that this new, unannounced project uses the Unreal Engine! I'm not sure which one though - there are 5 editions, with Unreal 3 and Unreal 4 still in heavy use. Unreal 5 has just been recently announced, so not sure if they're using that. More likely Unreal 4.
Unreal 5 Demo
Unreal 4 Demo
That means that this time, they are NOT building their own game engine, but using an already built engine with a ton of features already in place! It's a powerful engine, unlike that of TS4's, and much more optimized than TS3's, making open world
smooth and lag free! It is a game engine that is scalable, meaning that it can be run on a wide variety of computers, even relatively potato ones like mine (2014 computer with 4gb RAM and integrated Intel graphics runs Borderlands 1, 2 and Prequel beautifully)! And because they are using a game engine that's already complete, it cuts down on time having to develop their own, so the game could very well be ready by next year!
I'm honestly excited about this because a lot of the games I love are made with the Unreal Engine: Batman: Arkham Series, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 1, Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Prequel, Dishonored (all on Unreal 3), Borderlands 3 (Unreal 4).... Just too many I love so here's a list of some of the games using the Unreal Engine. You might find some of your own favorites here too!
Why I'm excited:
- With the Unreal Engine, Maxis can implement flying as a new mode of transportation! (Oh Maxis PLEEEEEZE? I want this so much!) And this can handle active scuba diving and group boating and other water activities as well - features that I really want to see again in The Sims 5!
- More possibilities with this engine - handles open world beautifully for example! Plus there are so many features to it. This will allow for deep gameplay to be implemented. I'm tearing up as I type this! It is on Maxis to take advantage of all the features that the Unreal Engine provides so, please Maxis devs, please use as much of it as you can!
There are still questions though:
1) Will there still be a Create-A-World? Is that possible in the Unreal Engine? I don't know because all the games I've played in the Unreal Engine are normally action first and third-person shooters, or adventure games that don't implement map making. TS5 MUST have a Create-A-World at basegame! I already know from previous Unreal games that I play that travel between worlds is pretty good!
2) Will it have the colorwheel and allow us to use and add patterns? Customization is really important - TS5 MUST have CASt at basegame!
3) How will modding be? It must be so that modding is easy for this game, to modify existing factors in the game and to add more gameplay to it so that it can even be turned into other genres, like survival, FP/TP shooter, hitman stealth, etc.
4) How will multiplayer be implemented? If Maxis is using the Unreal Engine for The Sims 5, then maybe it won't be so bad. I play the Borderlands games and others that have multiplayer and uses the Unreal Engine, mostly in single player mode myself. I don't find the multiplayer side really getting in the way of the single player side of those games. The single player side of those games feel "full" and not neglected. I think though, that again, it is on Maxis to make sure that the singleplayer side is "full" and not neglected. I have some great ideas for the multiplayer side if this is the case. I'll post about those some other day in a separate thread.
Please read through the Senior Character Artist employment post for yourselves! What other clues can you pick up? Post them right here!