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Test Subject
#4101 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:24 AM
Smaller lots are exactly why I dropped SimCity 4 (there were other things, but that's the main reason why I haven't gone back). I need ROOM, EAxis!
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retired moderator
#4102 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:28 AM
One of my classmate's FB statuses: "The Sims 4. What is happening i don't understand. Sob."

I've never felt so "not nerdy and alone" about being effed over by a game.

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Lab Assistant
#4103 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by applefeather2
I think Graham said there's one 64 x 64 lot. *sigh*. (I believe it's on the vid. interview with SimsVIP.)


Egg on my face if I said that. I try to specifically say if I can't answer a question when I don't know the answer, but I felt confident about that one. My apologies - Sarah works directly in that area and would know best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Sim
With great power comes great responsibility. It you believe he's got enough power to include certain features, surely he is responsible for putting the kibosh on others, especially when he said so himself:


I don't have the power to add or cut features. I have good autonomy when it comes to the specific features I own and can add/cut portions of them (within reason) to make the feature the best it can be. While I ran our Change Review process, all decisions made in there are by a committee of senior producers and designers. A year ago I ran the same process for Island Paradise, and Seasons before that. I try my damnedest to influence the game in directions that I know the community is particularly interested in, but I've still made the argument to cut things before that you all would surely be unhappy about. When we do cut things, it's because there's something even more integral that needs that development time and takes priority for getting in the game. Producers have to manage the schedule and budget that we're given to ensure we're hitting our milestones at the expected quality bar, so yeah... producers frequently end up being the bad guys who have to make difficult decisions; we're the gatekeepers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lovcat
The X amount of Guru time each week was likely pushed because of the turmoil, but this was the plan all along. Online channels. Twitter. Friendface. Ahem, I mean Facebook. Bargain basement marketing, ladies and gents.


Nope, not the case for us. We have community managers; it's their job to be part of that effort. The marketing efforts are on the main franchise channels with millions of followers. The SimGurus do this because we want to, often in our own time, and with a few thousand followers we aren't going to influence sales numbers in any perceivable way. Moreover, I don't want to go on twitter or the forums and market to anyone... that sounds dreadfully boring. Why even listen to me if I'm not going to talk about the things I'm interested in or give my own take on things? You're seeing gurus out there chatting more because post-E3 is the first time we've really been allowed to say anything. Lots of people on this team have spent years of their lives building this; they want to get out there and talk about it. Some of that means difficult discussions as well about what's not in the game - I can't speak for others, but I enjoy the philosophical side of game development and talking through how a franchise evolves, what goes into game development, and why certain choices are made. I want people to know what this game is, so I like getting out there and answering what I can to give you all a better idea what you're getting. At least that gets conversations flowing and gets that feedback rolling in. I like the idea of nimble development teams that can rapidly respond and turn around feedback; to me a game like The Sims seems well suited for that. Showing Island Paradise super early and having the time to actually incorporate feedback was a pleasant change. I personally don't put much faith in the results of surveys and focus tests - I find them useful for understanding how people use the game, but not for influencing the design direction of a game. For that, I want to hear from all of you.

Sims Producer Graham Nardone - Follow me on Twitter @SimGuruGraham
Top Secret Researcher
#4104 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:38 AM
Graham, can you comment on ghosts and burglars?
Theorist
#4105 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
Nope, not the case for us. We have community managers; it's their job to be part of that effort. The marketing efforts are on the main franchise channels with millions of followers. The SimGurus do this because we want to, often in our own time, and with a few thousand followers we aren't going to influence sales numbers in any perceivable way. Moreover, I don't want to go on twitter or the forums and market to anyone... that sounds dreadfully boring. Why even listen to me if I'm not going to talk about the things I'm interested in or give my own take on things? You're seeing gurus out there chatting more because post-E3 is the first time we've really been allowed to say anything. Lots of people on this team have spent years of their lives building this; they want to get out there and talk about it. Some of that means difficult discussions as well about what's not in the game - I can't speak for others, but I enjoy the philosophical side of game development and talking through how a franchise evolves, what goes into game development, and why certain choices are made. I want people to know what this game is, so I like getting out there and answering what I can to give you all a better idea what you're getting. At least that gets conversations flowing and gets that feedback rolling in. I like the idea of nimble development teams that can rapidly respond and turn around feedback; to me a game like The Sims seems well suited for that. Showing Island Paradise super early and having the time to actually incorporate feedback was a pleasant change. I personally don't put much faith in the results of surveys and focus tests - I find them useful for understanding how people use the game, but not for influencing the design direction of a game. For that, I want to hear from all of you.


That makes sense, but you can't fault us since we aren't seeing much other than tweet-bits and staged video. There is unrest in the community and it's been brewing for a while. Seeing the CEO change a few times and people be cycled in and out in certain stages of development is just a tad bit confusing and we wonder if it's something that would directly impact the game or the marketing direction. The quote from the CEO just seemed to fit with the essential grass roots feeling of how the game is being unveiled bit by bit.

I guess most of us are just wondering what the big secret is and why we haven't seen anything substantial and that would directly relate to how we'll experience the game when it's in our hands.

I'm an art/word gal so business isn't my strong suit nor is the politics that goes along with it.
Destroyer of Worlds
staff: administrator
#4106 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
we're the gatekeepers.


Now just tell us who the keymasters are.

Heaven Sims | Avendale Legacy
"On the internet, you can be anything you want. It's strange that so many people choose to be stupid."
Lab Assistant
#4107 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:44 AM Last edited by olil : 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:21 AM.
Hello Graham,
I hope that you and other Gurus understand that cutting out basic features is not a good thing, it's so disappointing and a dealbreaker for a lot of us.
So, about toddlers and real teens, when and how are you going to put them back in game?????

I'm a legacy player and I can't play without life stages...
Theorist
#4108 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven
Now just tell us who the keymasters are.



I had to.. now you may proceed.
Field Researcher
#4109 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:51 AM
Oh dear... everything is getting smaller and smaller and smaller

the world
the options
the life stages
the transport
the build mode
the lot sizes

the small narrow minded gameplay focusing on micromanaging emotions that can only be appreciated in a small zoomed in area of your small lot with a small amount of time to accomplish this small improvement that became apparent when the small budget run out of time but accomplished the small fact that your sims can be left or right handed and the small ability to use the attic which took time away from the small people which couldn't be put into the game but they made the sims look really small compared to the house and only listened to a small bit of fan feedback. And they are feeding out small bits of info cause of a small marketing budget because they have a very small amount of wow factor
Test Subject
#4110 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:54 AM
Graham, can you explain why there was time to add the decoration transport things (such as the tram and the boat), along with a rocket and a cupcake machine, but couldn't manage to fit in toddlers or pools over those things? Wouldn't a life stage or a classic element take priority over those trivial things? I understand you said you don't have the control to add or remove things, but was the reasoning behind any of this explained to you?
Now, I know Toddlers weren't loved a lot, but I think there was a lot of potential in the Sims 4 for Toddlers; they could've been improved upon, but it comes off as the team just make a quick fix and removed them because of complaints about them rather than actually making something of them.
Lab Assistant
#4111 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 1:56 AM
I barely use pools and I despise the toddler stage anyways, but no 64 lots? Geeze.

I go by the name Amaai
I also have a DA & a Tumblr too.

Amaai
Marinkastel
Female | Pan | ISTP
Lab Assistant
#4112 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mishkabee
Speaking of preorders, it looks like the toddler and pools mess didn't cause too much damage. Only 300 fewer orders than last week.


I honestly don't know what people were expecting, but that's way more than I thought. The fact that even that large enough amount of people canceled means that EA will have to notice something. Besides, someone has to buy the game to see how it works. Also, this is not the end of the bad news well get, trust me. I think a large amount of people are just waiting for the ball to drop. I think this no car thing could be it I'd it gets confirmed.
Field Researcher
#4113 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animator606432
I honestly don't know what people were expecting, but that's way more than I thought. The fact that even that large enough amount of people canceled means that EA will have to notice something. Besides, someone has to buy the game to see how it works. Also, this is not the end of the bad news well get, trust me. I think a large amount of people are just waiting for the ball to drop. I think this no car thing could be it I'd it gets confirmed.

I worded that badly, sorry. There's no measure of how many people cancelled. The week before last, the number of preorders increased by ~2000. This week it jumped 1700.
Field Researcher
#4114 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by paperfriends
I barely use pools and I despise the toddler stage anyways, but no 64 lots? Geeze.


Personally loved all three!

How can you have a family simulation without toddlers? - I never played elder much but appreciated them floating around being part of the life experience.

I enjoyed making a pool in a mansion on a 64x64 lot where my toddlers learnt to walk and I had a kick-ass car parked in the garage because I made my Sim work their ass off getting there.
Lab Assistant
#4115 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by IfICannotLove
Graham, can you explain why there was time to add the decoration transport things (such as the tram and the boat), along with a rocket and a cupcake machine, but couldn't manage to fit in toddlers or pools over those things? Wouldn't a life stage or a classic element take priority over those trivial things? I understand you said you don't have the control to add or remove things, but was the reasoning behind any of this explained to you?
Now, I know Toddlers weren't loved a lot, but I think there was a lot of potential in the Sims 4 for Toddlers; they could've been improved upon, but it comes off as the team just make a quick fix and removed them because of complaints about them rather than actually making something of them.


You can't weigh features by how much you want them in the game, you have to consider how many development resources it takes to create them. The tram? A couple of days from one of our FX guys and it's finished... very low risk, very low complexity (using entirely existing tech), and adds a nice visual punch to the neighborhood. I can't recall ever scoping against FX... they always have time to be adding more stuff. Our FX folks submitted their own long list of things they wanted to work on because there wasn't enough for them to do. Now, you can't take the FX team and ask them to add pools to the game. They don't have the work skills to do it; neither do I. Pools, toddlers... they're extremely complex features that require months of man hours of work across multiple disciplines and introduce significant risk. If we were to have added one of those to the game, there would have been two choices for us... cut many small features, or cut one other significantly large feature. And again, it isn't equivalent - you can't just cut a large feature and expect it to line up; you have to cut enough to get all the numbers for each discipline in the green, which means cutting extra to get to the point where the hardest hit discpline has enough time to do their necessary work for it. Now you've created free time for other disciplines who previously had work, but are left twiddling their thumbs... so you need to find work for them to do that only impacts the areas that you have time to spend in. If you look at one weird aspect of the game and wonder why it took priority over something that seemed important to you, it's entirely possible it was something that the right people had time to work on without disrupting the busy people. Game development is a constant puzzle where you're matching headcount and skill sets against features, schedule, and budget, and you're trying to make everything fit just right with as few gaps as possible. Unfortunately time isn't like money; you can't go into debt on time and pay it back later.

Sims Producer Graham Nardone - Follow me on Twitter @SimGuruGraham
Test Subject
#4116 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
[snip] Game development is a constant puzzle where you're matching headcount and skill sets against features, schedule, and budget, and you're trying to make everything fit just right with as few gaps as possible. Unfortunately time isn't like money; you can't go into debt on time and pay it back later.


What I can't seem to figure out is why whoever is in charge won't delay the game. A complete, whole and finished game is better than something that needs patching for simple things that has always been ingame.
Theorist
DELETED POST
2nd Jul 2014 at 2:27 AM
This message has been deleted by lovcat.
Field Researcher
#4117 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
Unfortunately time isn't like money; you can't go into debt on time and pay it back later.

That's what crunch is for.

Speaking of which, I guess you folks are getting into that stage by now.
Forum Resident
#4118 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:28 AM
Hmm how important is the number of preorders?
Sims 3 apparently sold 10 million copies, 80k preorders is not even 1/100th of that.

Find my Mods: Here at MTS, over at Simlogical
Field Researcher
#4119 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:29 AM
So why Graham was this series so short on time and budget, is it because of the sudden change of direction from being on-line?
Retired
retired moderator
#4120 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
You can't weigh features by how much you want them in the game, you have to consider how many development resources it takes to create them. The tram? A couple of days from one of our FX guys and it's finished... very low risk, very low complexity (using entirely existing tech), and adds a nice visual punch to the neighborhood. I can't recall ever scoping against FX... they always have time to be adding more stuff. Our FX folks submitted their own long list of things they wanted to work on because there wasn't enough for them to do. Now, you can't take the FX team and ask them to add pools to the game. They don't have the work skills to do it; neither do I. Pools, toddlers... they're extremely complex features that require months of man hours of work across multiple disciplines and introduce significant risk. If we were to have added one of those to the game, there would have been two choices for us... cut many small features, or cut one other significantly large feature. And again, it isn't equivalent - you can't just cut a large feature and expect it to line up; you have to cut enough to get all the numbers for each discipline in the green, which means cutting extra to get to the point where the hardest hit discpline has enough time to do their necessary work for it. Now you've created free time for other disciplines who previously had work, but are left twiddling their thumbs... so you need to find work for them to do that only impacts the areas that you have time to spend in. If you look at one weird aspect of the game and wonder why it took priority over something that seemed important to you, it's entirely possible it was something that the right people had time to work on without disrupting the busy people. Game development is a constant puzzle where you're matching headcount and skill sets against features, schedule, and budget, and you're trying to make everything fit just right with as few gaps as possible. Unfortunately time isn't like money; you can't go into debt on time and pay it back later.
The key issue though, and this is something I'm aware you can't talk about, is that the game seems to be anaemic and stripped back as much because of concerns about performance as because time was wasted deving an online game that the community didn't want (and never indicated it wanted), and that formed the basis for the present one. If that's the case, and we obviously don't know for sure and won't get any confirmation of it either way, then Sims players are essentially being asked to cover the cost of EA's own internal problems. I think a lot of people understand that, even among the not so "hardcore" players. It's obvious at this point that EA has somehow created a situation where you guys have to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I don't think that's impossible in the significantly long term view, but I do think it's impossible that you'll get the budget to put something as costly to develop as toddlers into the game as a "free" patch. I always expected the game to become much more refined and complete via patches, but this is another thing entirely, and I have no confidence that toddlers aren't going to form the basis of or a feature within an EP.

I feel bad being so confrontational when you can't reply or put me right very easily. But... ...I think EA is underestimating the intelligence of its Sims customers, if not gamers in general, at this point. People are cancelling preorders (or claiming to, you'd know better than me if there's any follow through or if it's just talk). Scrapping such core features will cost sales. This is damaging EA's brand, once again. And for those who don't follow the news, and will learn all this on day one... ...sure you've made a sale to them, but... ...how much damage did you do to future sales in the process?

CAW Wiki - A wiki for CAW users. Feel free to edit.

GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Top Secret Researcher
#4121 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:36 AM
Ok, I don't get the silence on ghosts.

But what about burglars? CAW? Can we place our own lots right into the neighborhood? How do sims obtain food--can they go grocery shopping or do they shop from the fridge?
Lab Assistant
#4122 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
You can't weigh features by how much you want them in the game, you have to consider how many development resources it takes to create them. The tram? A couple of days from one of our FX guys and it's finished... very low risk, very low complexity (using entirely existing tech), and adds a nice visual punch to the neighborhood. I can't recall ever scoping against FX... they always have time to be adding more stuff. Our FX folks submitted their own long list of things they wanted to work on because there wasn't enough for them to do. Now, you can't take the FX team and ask them to add pools to the game. They don't have the work skills to do it; neither do I. Pools, toddlers... they're extremely complex features that require months of man hours of work across multiple disciplines and introduce significant risk. If we were to have added one of those to the game, there would have been two choices for us... cut many small features, or cut one other significantly large feature. And again, it isn't equivalent - you can't just cut a large feature and expect it to line up; you have to cut enough to get all the numbers for each discipline in the green, which means cutting extra to get to the point where the hardest hit discpline has enough time to do their necessary work for it. Now you've created free time for other disciplines who previously had work, but are left twiddling their thumbs... so you need to find work for them to do that only impacts the areas that you have time to spend in. If you look at one weird aspect of the game and wonder why it took priority over something that seemed important to you, it's entirely possible it was something that the right people had time to work on without disrupting the busy people. Game development is a constant puzzle where you're matching headcount and skill sets against features, schedule, and budget, and you're trying to make everything fit just right with as few gaps as possible. Unfortunately time isn't like money; you can't go into debt on time and pay it back later.


Clearly they didn't start working on life stages until this year (which explains why we only saw adult Sims for months and months), and it turned out that there wasn't enough time and resources to do it, so they made teenagers, adults and elders the same as young adults, removed toddlers entirely, and shoveled their remaining time and resources into children, the only unique life stage (babies don't count, they are practically objects). I just cannot fathom why life stages weren't the FIRST thing they worked on!

If I were a manager for the game, and we had a meeting that ended with the realization "we have to remove toddlers and make 4 life stages the same", I would push for another delay! How could they think that this is okay? Aging is not a minor thing...they completely ruined my favorite part of The Sims.
Mad Poster
#4123 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:47 AM
All I can say about the removal of toddlers, I felt betrayed. I am so frustrated and I don't see how emotions, having another series directed to the Adults age stage would be an adequate replacement. Every time I see a post about "Oh, this game have lots to offer, it will be fun" burns me to the core. It's personal, although that is not reality but that is attacking my style of play and what I loved about playing Sims game, once it became generational. Now I am told to change my style or "just don't buy it, if you don't like it". The most irritating statement that can ever be written.

I don't want to play the series without a full family, that means toddlers included. That makes me believe the family aspect in the game will be ignored again. Don't feel like going through that with another series.

Resident member of The Receptacle Refugees
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Lab Assistant
#4124 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by yela
What I can't seem to figure out is why whoever is in charge won't delay the game. A complete, whole and finished game is better than something that needs patching for simple things that has always been ingame.


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

HE doesn't need an introduction.
Forum Resident
#4125 Old 2nd Jul 2014 at 2:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimGuruGraham
The tram? A couple of days from one of our FX guys and it's finished... very low risk, very low complexity (using entirely existing tech), and adds a nice visual punch to the neighborhood.


That's quite amazing. I mean, the tram model has to be designed, someone has to make the 3D rails which curve so nicely through the hood, someone has to make a "dingding" sound file, finally the whole neighborhood has to be designed to have extra tram lanes.

Uh, and what happens when my Sim crosses the road in front of the tram? Will it go through like a ghost train? (Can my Sim cross the road at all?). Doesn't this need to be coded or implemented somehow?

You sure it's just two days of work?

Find my Mods: Here at MTS, over at Simlogical
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