The Sims 4 will shift focus to “the stories and the things you want to do”

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When playing The Sims, I’m usually just waiting to see how long it takes for my miserable puppets to wet themselves and have an emotional breakdown. When we caught up with The Sims 4 producer Grant Rodiek at Gamescom, he let us know that these new Sims will have a greater level of autonomy and “they’ll take care of themselves.” 

Looks like I’ll have to start removing all the loos in their homes, then.

The goal of this increased autonomy is for The Sims 4 to move away from just focusing on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Rodiek tells us. “We want you to focus on your emotional, nurturing state of your Sims. We want you to focus on the stories and the things you want to do, over maintaining their basic elements.” So instead of obsessively micromanaging an entire house filled with Sims, they can be left to their own devices.

Crafting stories and drama with the assistance of contextual options, like getting a Sim to propose to the object of its affections earlier due to a confident personality trait, will be what the latest iteration of the series revolves around. It’s even more like a soap opera, now. “The way I like to play, typically,” Rodiek says “is I’ll create a family of two or three Sims, and I’ll pick one lead character, so to speak, and I’ll micromanage him or her, and I’ll leave the rest to their own devices – they’re just extras.”

While EA Maxis is being tight-lipped about it, Rodiek reveals that there will be a way for players to remember the important moments in their Sims’ lives through a type of story log. I look forward to cataloguing all the moments they stood in their lounge, crying in a puddle of urine.