Thursday, 24 July 2014

starved for more life simulation

With The Sims 4 looking more and more stripped and after being starved for any life simulation game for years now and annoying my family and friends up to a point where I started to sound like a broken record I thought that I will share my thoughts here and perhaps it will inspire someone besides me to do something.

The market is solely dominated by one developer. And it really irks me. What I would give for other known life simulations to be recreated. I would gladly throw my money at Kudos 3 or even Alter Ego 2. Unfortunately it's not going to happen. So at the moment, the only game that allows you to actually involve yourself in working a regular job, aging, having kids and living an alter life is The Sims series. EA is dominating and it shows. They're brave enough to price their game at 59.99 pounds and take away key features such as:
seamless neighborhood
toddler life stage
story progression
ability to re-colour your clothing
ability to use unnatural colours of your skin and eyes
And that already makes me disappointed. So I ask myself, when will the next life simulation game came out after this one? Never?

So let me share ideas. If one of the people reading this will steal these, I don't particularly mind. Because ideas are easy to come up with. Executing them is the problem.
Life simulation doesn't have to have Sims control scheme, or the lack of interactivity by being a text adventure with pictures. Let me tell you about the features that it could have.

What if for example, you had a chance to control your human in first person? Not trough the moments in life that would get you an adult only rating of course, but... Imagine if you could control your human yourself for for example extra work experience, extra skill point building, extra relationship building. What if what you worked as determined what you did trough out the day?
Oh, you work as a doctor, why not to play a surgeon simulator kind of mini game?
Oh you work as a cleaner, why not to play a less gross version of Viscera Cleanup Detail?
You're a manager? Want to play theme hospital? Perhaps Hotel Giant?
It would be hard to implement, but think of how much it would add to the game. And don't tell me that people wouldn't be interested. People would agree to clean virtual dishes for entertainment, as long as the game actually rewarded them for doing so.

Now think of that control being used outside of work place mini games. Perhaps we could add a crazy factor to it. Want to take out your microwave and throw it? Why not! Don't be surprised if it has repercussions though.

Now what about incorporating a dating sim into the mix? Picking up a partner shouldn't involve just pointless emote spamming. What if you actually had to use words to show that you care?

What about gradual aging? It would require a lot of models to go from baby to an adult and then a lot of texture changes to go from adult to an elder, but it would add depth.

What about such simple customization options as the ability to make your hair shorter or longer with a slider? Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion had it, so I don't think that it's impossible.

What about having different time periods to choose to play in? They don't have to be unlimited. They don't even have to progress, but player would appreciate the ability to choose.

All I'm doing here is spewing ideas at you all. Do I think that such game will ever come out? No. To put all those features in would be far too much work even for the most dedicated people out there. However perhaps someone could grab at least some of them, perhaps someone would be inspired to think about what could be done to life simulation genre as a whole and perhaps this post won't get lost in the sea of pointless Internet blogs and articles. All I want is for a bit more variety in the genre. I know that it sounds lazy, but I don't want to wait till I finish university and spend countless years working at my free time to actually see another game in the genre. I know that eventually I'll end up doing it, simply because the want to play won't go away, but in the mean time I would like someone to make a product and take my money.

Oh and while we're still here and on topic, EA is not all bad. They're giving away The Sims 2 for free with all expansions up until July 31st.
All you have to do is:
Download and install Origin
Create a free Origin Account
Launch Origin and log into your Origin Account
From the ‘Games’ tab in the Origin menu, select ‘Redeem Product Code’ and enter the code: I-LOVE-THE-SIMS
I understand not liking DRM. I don't like Origin either. Some call it a scam, some call it spyware. But it still doesn't change the fact that EA is giving out The Sims 2 for free on their official store.

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