Earlier this week, EA Games announced their plans to release The Sims 4 in 2014. I’ve been a Sims player for ten years now and I’ve always been interested in seeing how the game develops over time. Like many other players, I also have a number of thoughts on some new things that could be brought in. I’m fairly sure EA already have a bunch of expansion packs in mind for TS4 so these are just small details that, as a long-term fan, I’d personally like to see in the base game.
(all images are from the sims 3)
• Babies and toddlers should require more attention. Bring back the changing table and let’s have playpens, teething rings and security blankets. Toddlers should be messy and throw tantrums. Kids and teens are also way too easy to handle. Parent Sims should have to call them to get up for school, scold them for not finishing their homework and insist that they do chores. Moms and dads in need of a break should be able to ask family members or friends to babysit. Also, hired babysitters should charge by the hour rather than having one flat fee of 75 Simoleans.
• At the moment, the school bus arrives outside the house at 8am every weekday and waits up until 9am or until all the kids and teens have got on board. Then it drops them home right to their front door! School-going Sims should have to walk to the bus stop and be there for a specific time. If they miss the bus, parents should have to drive them to school. Or if they live close by, they could walk or cycle (or scoot?! How cute would Sims on scooters be?).
• There should be at least two separate schools – one for child Sims and one for teenage Sims. Teenagers should have end-of-year exams that will have a real impact on their future careers. Also, working Sims should be able to drop their little ones at a crèche where they can begin to learn skills.
• When two Sims marry or get divorced, they should have to go to City Hall to make it official. When one parent moves out, they should be given custody of the children. If both parents die (in some freak accident perhaps…), the children should be left in the care of other family members rather than just being automatically given up for adoption.
• Consenting Sims shouldn’t always have to ‘try for a baby’ to get pregnant. “Woohoo” alone should occasionally lead to a bump too!
• Sims should have to apply for jobs rather than being automatically accepted in to any career. Wages should be paid once a week rather than at the end of every shift. I’d like to see some more part-time work options as well – what about selling tickets at the theatre or waitressing at the diner?
• There should be “bad” neighbourhoods where crime is higher but the house prices are cheaper and “good” neighbourhoods where comfort and security comes at a cost. Then there can be the in-between neighbourhoods as well where anything can happen.
• When Sims get arrested, it should go down on record. It could affect their careers and reputation, and if they get arrested again, they have to stay inside for longer. They could even do community service for minor offences. Similarly, if parents get their kids taken off them by Social Services, they should be given a chance to get them back – perhaps by attending parenting classes.
• You are what you eat, right? The meals that Sims make should have more of an impact on their behaviour, appearance and energy levels. Little Sims should be given balanced meals to help them grow big and strong. While I’m on it, what about introducing height differences?
• There should be a charge for taxis and maybe the introduction of public transport. Sims without a car could have to get the bus to work. Carpool is convenient but it’s not very credible. Also Sims should have to put petrol (gas) in their cars every so often – it’s all about the details!
Also, there were a number of features in The Sims 2 that were left out (and sorely missed) in The Sims 3. These are some of the things I’d love to see being reintroduced in The Sims 4:
• Instead of there being a constant supply of food in the refrigerator, groceries should be bought in-store or delivered.
• You should be able to create a schedule with your babysitter so they automatically arrive every time you have to go to work. Also, at least during the day, the babysitters should be the warm grandmotherly figures, not the teenagers who announce just before 9am that they have to be somewhere else soon (!).
• Private school was fun! To attend, students should have to pay fees or they could earn scholarships through good grades or specific skills. They could wear uniforms and maybe have different after-school activities.
• Bring back the wills! When an Elder passes on, their loved ones are given a cash injection. Ka-ching!
• Memories should flow better. I liked the way they were done in TS2 as a single chronological stream rather than in TS3’s style of a scrapbook. Memories should also be more specific to each Sim. I really don’t like – for example – how in TS3 when one Sim teaches a toddler to talk, every other adult in the household claims responsibility for it.
That’s all my thoughts (for now!). I’m excited to see what EA will do with The Sims 4. It’s a good opportunity to start fresh and create a better game. All the current players will have lots of ideas so hopefully the creators will listen to some of us! If you’re a Sims player, what would you like to see in the new game? Leave a comment and let us know!