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Why is adding pronouns difficult?

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mirta000mirta000 Posts: 2,973 Member
edited May 2021 in The Sims 4 Game Feedback
Sorry guys, but I am worried that the longer The Sims 4 lives, the simpler the things that take a great deal of developer time become.

When the game just came out we were told that toddlers are something that is very hard to put in, because the way that a sim would animate while holding a toddler was causing issues.

I distinctly remember apartments being difficult too and them needing to figure out how to essentially make a lot of out of multiple other lots.

After that it was lounge chairs and bunk beds that were causing issues, because they needed to figure out how a sim would path-find to the top bunkbed.

Now I am hearing that adding extra pronouns is complex. Come on, guys, you should have an already existing system that calls a sim "he" or "she" depending on their sex, therefore it should just be disconnecting it from that system, adding more options and letting the player choose. It is just a text word. Please don't tell me that every message is pre-written and you guys need to pull up the correct message from thousands of messages? We have gone so minute that my fear is that the next thing that will become hard is balance.

"we can't take the trait from +3 to +2, because, as the game has gotten very large, this is a complex issue to consider".

If this is where we're going, you guys need a new base game ASAP. One that is well organized and easy to maintain. So that we're not in this kind of pickle 7 years from now on again.




edit:
bizuktag wrote: »
From the tehnical side, it's not quick. Here's an example of a text string from the game, for one of the writer career levels:
The fans love {M0.him}{F0.her}. The critics hate {M0.him}{F0.her}. {0.SimFirstName} might be churning out sub-literate dreck, but {M0.his}{F0.her} books sell like crazy, so {M0.his}{F0.her} publisher keeps paying {M0.him}{F0.her}. And that’s the real measure of literary success. Right?

You can see that the options were added in as "him" or "her", and the game is going to look for whether the sim is designated "M0" or "F0" in order to match which text should be displayed. It's like that all throughout the game, which has many thousands of text strings. The files aren't set up to use one variable for gender, it's got the pronouns hard-coded in. And with that many text strings, it's probably a long job to go adjust them.

There's also the question of what pronoun choices are appropriate for localized language translations. Based on the recent shrine controversy and the children-hating consent controversy, Maxis is probably being overly careful about including anything that could be offensive.

I think the guru talking about the issue said they're investigating the issue. Which probably means trying to determine whether a respectful solution exists, what resources (time and money) it requires to complete, and whether it's viable based on those elements.

Major OOF here. I swear pronouns were a thing in 2014. So were trans people. Why would you ever write it like that?!

It really really sounds like they need a new base game.
Post edited by mirta000 on
What is The Sims 4 base game like in 2022?


Comments

  • greydonngreydonn Posts: 460 Member
    They said in the stream why it's difficult. The game has like 70 languages in it and not all of them lend themselves to adding/choosing/optional pronouns. Do I know why these languages are difficult? No, but I'm willing to believe them.
    JwVd8ug.png?1
    she/her
  • mirta000mirta000 Posts: 2,973 Member
    greydonn wrote: »
    They said in the stream why it's difficult. The game has like 70 languages in it and not all of them lend themselves to adding/choosing/optional pronouns. Do I know why these languages are difficult? No, but I'm willing to believe them.

    Where are you getting 70 languages from? Quotes say "18 languages". All of which function either on the same model, or if the language itself can't have gender neutral pronouns, you need to just leave that off, as you can't force it into a language. Therefore you roll out the English update and then consult other language specialists on can those 18 languages support more than just male and female from choices. If not, then you just let the user pick from male or female (not tied to sex), if yes, you repeat the same system as in the English one, as you can add customizable pronouns.
    What is The Sims 4 base game like in 2022?


  • greydonngreydonn Posts: 460 Member
    mirta000 wrote: »
    greydonn wrote: »
    They said in the stream why it's difficult. The game has like 70 languages in it and not all of them lend themselves to adding/choosing/optional pronouns. Do I know why these languages are difficult? No, but I'm willing to believe them.

    Where are you getting 70 languages from? Quotes say "18 languages". All of which function either on the same model, or if the language itself can't have gender neutral pronouns, you need to just leave that off, as you can't force it into a language. Therefore you roll out the English update and then consult other language specialists on can those 18 languages support more than just male and female from choices. If not, then you just let the user pick from male or female (not tied to sex), if yes, you repeat the same system as in the English one, as you can add customizable pronouns.

    I got 70 languages from the livestream, but hey, maybe I'm remembering it wrong. Fair enough.

    Also, we don't know if they can just "leave it off". I don't understand how their translation system works, but they do, so if they say it's difficult I'm going with "it's difficult". Maybe somebody with a better understanding can explain it in a way I can't. :smile:
    JwVd8ug.png?1
    she/her
  • greydonngreydonn Posts: 460 Member
    greydonn wrote: »
    mirta000 wrote: »
    greydonn wrote: »
    They said in the stream why it's difficult. The game has like 70 languages in it and not all of them lend themselves to adding/choosing/optional pronouns. Do I know why these languages are difficult? No, but I'm willing to believe them.

    Where are you getting 70 languages from? Quotes say "18 languages". All of which function either on the same model, or if the language itself can't have gender neutral pronouns, you need to just leave that off, as you can't force it into a language. Therefore you roll out the English update and then consult other language specialists on can those 18 languages support more than just male and female from choices. If not, then you just let the user pick from male or female (not tied to sex), if yes, you repeat the same system as in the English one, as you can add customizable pronouns.

    I got 70 languages from the livestream, but hey, maybe I'm remembering it wrong. Fair enough.

    Also, we don't know if they can just "leave it off". I don't understand how their translation system works, but they do, so if they say it's difficult I'm going with "it's difficult". Maybe somebody with a better understanding can explain it in a way I can't. :smile:

    Rewatching the livestream: Yeah I don't know where I got 70 from lol. Anyway, they're specifically talking about nonbinary, gender neutral pronouns, and they also say they're investigating things and that what they can't give us is a time, because they want to make sure that when they do that they do it right.
    JwVd8ug.png?1
    she/her
  • mirta000mirta000 Posts: 2,973 Member
    edited May 2021
    Onverser wrote: »
    From what I understand there's multiple reasons:

    a) There's SO many strings of text in this game. Even just little things like "Jonathan has got a new job! He will now be working as a scientist." will all need to be changed to allow a third option. There's probably hundreds, if not thousands of lines of codes which will need to be changed and the chances are they'll miss some which will cause massive issues. Also if they chose to add "neopronouns" (which I hope they don't) that means they'll have to add even more options to every string of text which is just a lot.

    b) The Sims is in a ton of different languages, as much as it may be easy in English it's obviously different in different languages which would mean a lot of effort would have to be put in to get it right in every language the game is in, obviously they could just add it for English speaking players but I don't think they'd want to half-a** something like this.

    Also I hope that if they do do it they'll do it properly. If they take the lazy option and just nerf all gender and change all sims to a they like they have done with some text I'll be very annoyed personally.

    a) if the system to do this is by hand, we're already in a pickle. You shouldn't have a "Jonathan has got a new job! He will now be working as a scientist." and a "Suzy has got a new job! She will now be working as a scientist" string. The same way that you would not have a new string for every single name. So the real string should be something like this: "[NAME] has got a new job! [SEX] will now be working as a [JOB].". So what you should be changing is where the SEX attribute ties to. Unless you're telling me that The Sims 4 is a bloated unoptimized nightmare, in which case I feel for them.

    b) in some languages it is going to be impossible. As simple as. Others that go by the English structure should be no problem.

    What is The Sims 4 base game like in 2022?


  • hunniboo1hunniboo1 Posts: 1,510 Member
    edited May 2021
    This is something that it would need time to be added into the game if it is added into the game. I honestly believe that since TS4 has been out so long and instead of rewriting many of their scripts they should just add it into TS5.

    EA already receives a lot of hate whether they add new features in or not.

    Also this is one of those times where it is danged if they do and danged If they do. People will still criticize them for it.
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  • BabykittyjadeBabykittyjade Posts: 4,363 Member
    Definitely not that simple. I speak 3 languages and studied many others as a hobby but didn't fully continue learning them. There is no true "third"gender in existence and many languages do not support that. They have to make sure they consult with people of each language to make sure they choose the perfect substitute word. As well as change thousands of text. And then I wonder even, since this game is world wide, how certain religions will take this that don't normalize or accept multiple genders. I'm just trying to look at this from all angles and it doesn't seem simple to me...
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  • mirta000mirta000 Posts: 2,973 Member
    Definitely not that simple. I speak 3 languages and studied many others as a hobby but didn't fully continue learning them. There is no true "third"gender in existence and many languages do not support that. They have to make sure they consult with people of each language to make sure they choose the perfect substitute word. As well as change thousands of text. And then I wonder even, since this game is world wide, how certain religions will take this that don't normalize or accept multiple genders. I'm just trying to look at this from all angles and it doesn't seem simple to me...

    Well in some languages you can not do it and that is that. I hail from a background of a language that's so gendered that we have a female "they" and a male "they", that we do not have an "it" and every action word has gender. In that case your only option is to make "female" or "male" pronoun selectable rather than tied to sex and that's as much as you can do.

    If religion was a problem, we wouldn't even have gay marriage. In some countries The Sims is banned based on that, or set to 18+ only.
    What is The Sims 4 base game like in 2022?


  • CAPTAIN_NXR7CAPTAIN_NXR7 Posts: 3,787 Member
    edited May 2021
    Onverser wrote: »
    Also I hope that if they do do it they'll do it properly. If they take the lazy option and just nerf all gender and change all sims to a they like they have done with some text I'll be very annoyed personally.

    I don't mind different pronoun options in game, but I agree with you here. If everything becomes "they/them" there's something very wrong with the decision making process in this company. I truly hope this won't be the case.

    One would assume there's a way to develop a little piece of software or add-on script to replace pronouns relatively easy and similar to the way word processors work. It should offer devs the ability to replace words automatically across the entire document or in this case, code.

    Of course He/ She IS needs to be changed to They ARE etc.
    I know very little about code so I'm just guessing. I'm not surprised at all that this process will take a while, plus having these pronouns in English make sense but not necessarily in a different language. Getting this one wrong will cause an enormous backlash from the LGBTQ community and I don't want to be around when that happens.

    EDIT: I took so long before posting this that everybody already said the same thing. :D
  • BabykittyjadeBabykittyjade Posts: 4,363 Member
    mirta000 wrote: »
    Definitely not that simple. I speak 3 languages and studied many others as a hobby but didn't fully continue learning them. There is no true "third"gender in existence and many languages do not support that. They have to make sure they consult with people of each language to make sure they choose the perfect substitute word. As well as change thousands of text. And then I wonder even, since this game is world wide, how certain religions will take this that don't normalize or accept multiple genders. I'm just trying to look at this from all angles and it doesn't seem simple to me...

    Well in some languages you can not do it and that is that. I hail from a background of a language that's so gendered that we have a female "they" and a male "they", that we do not have an "it" and every action word has gender. In that case your only option is to make "female" or "male" pronoun selectable rather than tied to sex and that's as much as you can do.

    If religion was a problem, we wouldn't even have gay marriage. In some countries The Sims is banned based on that, or set to 18+ only.

    Yes exactly, the complexities of languages goes deep😄 which is why I always found them so interesting.
    In most south Asian languages we gender everything too. We would only address someone as "they" or an equivalent out of a respect for their status or General respect such as for a husband.
    If they use it as a third gender it would be very confusing. So what then would they use? Lol
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  • alanmichael1alanmichael1 Posts: 4,944 Member
    In German, the third person plural (sie) is impossible because it is already used as the courtesy address (like the second person plural "vous" in French) and would not be understood. I searched the net and found that the neutral pronoun "xier" has been invented, but that is completely unknown to 99.9 % of the speakers.
  • SimmingalSimmingal Posts: 6,199 Member
    edited May 2021
    well idk i don't really care for pronouns in my game in first place
    maybe its cause in my language she/he doesn't even exist
    and everyone is them by default there is no other option
    so i don't even understand to get offended if its off :sweat_smile:

    i think it would be much more complicated to change it for languages that are heavily gendered though
    and tbh if anything just freaking use sims name and override the need for pronoun
    so much easier.

    " Jonathan has got a new job! Jonathan will now be working as a dang boring social media influencer."

    all that said its probably complicated because of translations which have to be done by translators not devs and well blaming devs for not having translators to go magically change it overnight is just off in general
  • BabykittyjadeBabykittyjade Posts: 4,363 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    well idk i don't really care for pronouns in my game in first place
    maybe its cause in my language she/he doesn't even exist
    and everyone is them by default there is no other option
    so i don't even understand to get offended if its off :sweat_smile:

    i think it would be much more complicated to change it for languages that are heavily gendered though
    and tbh if anything just freaking use sims name and override the need for pronoun
    so much easier.

    " Jonathan has got a new job! Jonathan will now be working as a dang boring social media influencer."

    all that said its probably complicated because of translations which have to be done by translators not devs and well blaming devs for not having translators to go magically change it overnight is just off in general

    Very interesting!!! I love languages😯🤗🤗🤗
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  • dearie_blossomdearie_blossom Posts: 707 Member
    I hope they‘ll never add gender neutral pronouns tbh. I just know they would go the lazy route and remove everything female or male gendered.
  • dearie_blossomdearie_blossom Posts: 707 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    well idk i don't really care for pronouns in my game in first place
    maybe its cause in my language she/he doesn't even exist
    and everyone is them by default there is no other option
    so i don't even understand to get offended if its off :sweat_smile:

    i think it would be much more complicated to change it for languages that are heavily gendered though
    and tbh if anything just freaking use sims name and override the need for pronoun
    so much easier.

    " Jonathan has got a new job! Jonathan will now be working as a dang boring social media influencer."

    all that said its probably complicated because of translations which have to be done by translators not devs and well blaming devs for not having translators to go magically change it overnight is just off in general
    Regarding the bolded: in many languages job titles are gendered so replacing pronouns with a person‘s name wouldn‘t solve anything.
  • stilljustme2stilljustme2 Posts: 25,082 Member
    Onverser wrote: »
    From what I understand there's multiple reasons:

    a) There's SO many strings of text in this game. Even just little things like "Jonathan has got a new job! He will now be working as a scientist." will all need to be changed to allow a third option. There's probably hundreds, if not thousands of lines of codes which will need to be changed and the chances are they'll miss some which will cause massive issues. Also if they chose to add "neopronouns" (which I hope they don't) that means they'll have to add even more options to every string of text which is just a lot.

    b) The Sims is in a ton of different languages, as much as it may be easy in English it's obviously different in different languages which would mean a lot of effort would have to be put in to get it right in every language the game is in, obviously they could just add it for English speaking players but I don't think they'd want to half-a** something like this.

    Also I hope that if they do do it they'll do it properly. If they take the lazy option and just nerf all gender and change all sims to a they like they have done with some text I'll be very annoyed personally.

    A case like that might be simpler if you just remove the pronoun -- "[Sim] has got a new job as a [career]! The job starts at {time, day]". But when you consider how many languages need to have the change made, and all the strings of text that need to be changed, yes it is difficult both in the language/culture considerations as well as time-consuming. And I'm one of those who would rather have them get it right the first time rather than have to go back and re-patch their work later like the black hair colors issue (they really should have some GCers who specialize in checking graphical stuff like that in game before it gets added to everyone, but I digress).
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  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 2,724 Member
    mirta000 wrote: »
    Sorry guys, but I am worried that the longer The Sims 4 lives, the simpler the things that take a great deal of developer time become.

    This statement is the reason why. The Sims 4 is so old, every time they have to make a small change they have to go back to every single piece of content and DLC that might conflict with it and fix it.
    If they had put it in from the start it would have been a lot easier but now 7 years in, it's difficult to change anything.
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  • logionlogion Posts: 4,344 Member
    edited May 2021
    I don't think it's difficult, I just think it's a massive undertaking where you have to find a good way to do it so they wont spend weeks just writing texts.
    • 18 languages, which includes languages where they have to consult what constitutes as them/they.
    • Thousands, and thousands of lines written during 7 years.
    • I don't know how gender is configured in the hundreds of configuration files but maybe they need to be configured too.
    • Maxis probably don't want to replace He/She with Them/They (I really hope they don't) so that means that they have to add this on top of everything else.

    If I would be a developer, then this would be reasons why I would be hesitant and consider if it's worth it to be honest. At least, that's what I think.
    Post edited by logion on
  • ChazzzyChazzzy Posts: 7,166 Member
    I just wanna say that I really like when you have 2 toddlers of the same gender who get sent off to daycare together and the game gives you a notification that says “The boys/girls will be in good hands.”

    I hope they don’t get rid of that and change it to “they”. It’s a nice touch.
  • SimmingalSimmingal Posts: 6,199 Member
    Simmingal wrote: »
    well idk i don't really care for pronouns in my game in first place
    maybe its cause in my language she/he doesn't even exist
    and everyone is them by default there is no other option
    so i don't even understand to get offended if its off :sweat_smile:

    i think it would be much more complicated to change it for languages that are heavily gendered though
    and tbh if anything just freaking use sims name and override the need for pronoun
    so much easier.

    " Jonathan has got a new job! Jonathan will now be working as a dang boring social media influencer."

    all that said its probably complicated because of translations which have to be done by translators not devs and well blaming devs for not having translators to go magically change it overnight is just off in general
    Regarding the bolded: in many languages job titles are gendered so replacing pronouns with a person‘s name wouldn‘t solve anything.

    well true there is those but that is not a problem for a game to solve that is just correct translation for job title and should be kept as is
  • bizuktagbizuktag Posts: 459 Member
    edited May 2021
    From the tehnical side, it's not quick. Here's an example of a text string from the game, for one of the writer career levels:
    The fans love {M0.him}{F0.her}. The critics hate {M0.him}{F0.her}. {0.SimFirstName} might be churning out sub-literate dreck, but {M0.his}{F0.her} books sell like crazy, so {M0.his}{F0.her} publisher keeps paying {M0.him}{F0.her}. And that’s the real measure of literary success. Right?

    You can see that the options were added in as "him" or "her", and the game is going to look for whether the sim is designated "M0" or "F0" in order to match which text should be displayed. It's like that all throughout the game, which has many thousands of text strings. The files aren't set up to use one variable for gender, it's got the pronouns hard-coded in. And with that many text strings, it's probably a long job to go adjust them.

    There's also the question of what pronoun choices are appropriate for localized language translations. Based on the recent shrine controversy and the children-hating consent controversy, Maxis is probably being overly careful about including anything that could be offensive.

    I think the guru talking about the issue said they're investigating the issue. Which probably means trying to determine whether a respectful solution exists, what resources (time and money) it requires to complete, and whether it's viable based on those elements.
  • mirta000mirta000 Posts: 2,973 Member
    bizuktag wrote: »
    From the tehnical side, it's not quick. Here's an example of a text string from the game, for one of the writer career levels:
    The fans love {M0.him}{F0.her}. The critics hate {M0.him}{F0.her}. {0.SimFirstName} might be churning out sub-literate dreck, but {M0.his}{F0.her} books sell like crazy, so {M0.his}{F0.her} publisher keeps paying {M0.him}{F0.her}. And that’s the real measure of literary success. Right?

    You can see that the options were added in as "him" or "her", and the game is going to look for whether the sim is designated "M0" or "F0" in order to match which text should be displayed. It's like that all throughout the game, which has many thousands of text strings. The files aren't set up to use one variable for gender, it's got the pronouns hard-coded in. And with that many text strings, it's probably a long job to go adjust them.

    There's also the question of what pronoun choices are appropriate for localized language translations. Based on the recent shrine controversy and the children-hating consent controversy, Maxis is probably being overly careful about including anything that could be offensive.

    I think the guru talking about the issue said they're investigating the issue. Which probably means trying to determine whether a respectful solution exists, what resources (time and money) it requires to complete, and whether it's viable based on those elements.

    Major OOF here. I swear pronouns were a thing in 2014. So were trans people. Why would you ever write it like that?!

    It really really sounds like they need a new base game.
    What is The Sims 4 base game like in 2022?


  • logionlogion Posts: 4,344 Member
    edited May 2021
    bizuktag wrote: »
    From the tehnical side, it's not quick. Here's an example of a text string from the game, for one of the writer career levels:
    The fans love {M0.him}{F0.her}. The critics hate {M0.him}{F0.her}. {0.SimFirstName} might be churning out sub-literate dreck, but {M0.his}{F0.her} books sell like crazy, so {M0.his}{F0.her} publisher keeps paying {M0.him}{F0.her}. And that’s the real measure of literary success. Right?

    You can see that the options were added in as "him" or "her", and the game is going to look for whether the sim is designated "M0" or "F0" in order to match which text should be displayed. It's like that all throughout the game, which has many thousands of text strings. The files aren't set up to use one variable for gender, it's got the pronouns hard-coded in. And with that many text strings, it's probably a long job to go adjust them.

    There's also the question of what pronoun choices are appropriate for localized language translations. Based on the recent shrine controversy and the children-hating consent controversy, Maxis is probably being overly careful about including anything that could be offensive.

    I think the guru talking about the issue said they're investigating the issue. Which probably means trying to determine whether a respectful solution exists, what resources (time and money) it requires to complete, and whether it's viable based on those elements.

    Good lord, that's what I was worried about. Adding pronouns is going to take forever.

    And time to ask the hard question, do you want the team to spend. Who knows, how many days, weeks, maybe even months doing this. OR do you want them to work on something else?
  • kwanzaabotkwanzaabot Posts: 2,439 Member
    bizuktag wrote: »
    From the tehnical side, it's not quick. Here's an example of a text string from the game, for one of the writer career levels:
    The fans love {M0.him}{F0.her}. The critics hate {M0.him}{F0.her}. {0.SimFirstName} might be churning out sub-literate dreck, but {M0.his}{F0.her} books sell like crazy, so {M0.his}{F0.her} publisher keeps paying {M0.him}{F0.her}. And that’s the real measure of literary success. Right?

    You can see that the options were added in as "him" or "her", and the game is going to look for whether the sim is designated "M0" or "F0" in order to match which text should be displayed. It's like that all throughout the game, which has many thousands of text strings. The files aren't set up to use one variable for gender, it's got the pronouns hard-coded in. And with that many text strings, it's probably a long job to go adjust them.

    There's also the question of what pronoun choices are appropriate for localized language translations. Based on the recent shrine controversy and the children-hating consent controversy, Maxis is probably being overly careful about including anything that could be offensive.

    I think the guru talking about the issue said they're investigating the issue. Which probably means trying to determine whether a respectful solution exists, what resources (time and money) it requires to complete, and whether it's viable based on those elements.

    I've been thinking about this.
    While it would be impossible to add new pronouns to every text string in the game, they could also add text fields to the gender options.

    If your Sim has a masc frame, the text fields default to "he", "him" and "his," and femme frames default to "she", "her" and "hers."

    But because it's a text field, you can overwrite it. Then, whenever the game looks for {M0} or {F0}, it looks for what you replaced it as.

    This way, the game would support neopronouns for those who choose to use them.
    You wouldn't have to worry about French speakers not recognizing "xier", because if the player speaks French and does recognize "xier", they can put it in.

    tl;dr: pronouns in the game are already tied to a Sim's physical frame. So instead of adding new pronouns that aren't, allow the player to overwrite the existing pronouns on a Sim-by-Sim basis.

    Sim A might be "they", Sim B might be "xir" and Sim C might be "he", and the game would be able to switch through them as needed.
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