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Forum Resident
#26 Old 13th Jun 2013 at 11:07 PM
From what I've seen of TS3 Sims, it looks like they went backward with them rather than forward; they look more like TS1 Sims IMO.

Now if The Sims 4 had GTA 5-like graphics, does that include the bloody/gorey graphics that are in GTA? (It's a joke, not a serious question)
One Minute Ninja'd
#27 Old 13th Jun 2013 at 11:45 PM
Hey, we can barely get sex in the game, let alone in hi def, and now you want gore too?
Field Researcher
#28 Old 14th Jun 2013 at 6:15 PM
Sims 1 sims were all angles and sharp features, Sims 3 sims are all round pudding. Sims have actually gone rounder and rounder game by game. I hope they re-invent the corner, or TS4 will be quite horrible in the good ol' Jabba The Hutt-way.
Field Researcher
DELETED POST
14th Jun 2013 at 9:20 PM
This message has been deleted by rkalanu.
Forum Resident
#29 Old 14th Jun 2013 at 9:36 PM
Um... The Sims 4 looks like Sims 1 style graphics? Must of been a nice sims 1 game.
Field Researcher
#30 Old 14th Jun 2013 at 10:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bihem
Maybe that'll be the sims 5....wait never. I wish another studio would pick up the concept of a more adult oriented(mature) Sims game. I think its time for a competitor within this niche.


I have been saying the same thing! I don't understand why it is taking so long for another company to create a game that can steal away the Sims fans. I would be all ears for a new sim-like game, because EA just isn't cutting it anymore.

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. -Aristotle
Forum Resident
#31 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 1:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by spotlight-shure
I have been saying the same thing! I don't understand why it is taking so long for another company to create a game that can steal away the Sims fans. I would be all ears for a new sim-like game, because EA just isn't cutting it anymore.


I'd be quite fine with just sticking with my old Sims 2 game. It's aging, but still fun. EA will have to truly make a good game to pull me in.
Instructor
#32 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 1:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by spotlight-shure
I have been saying the same thing! I don't understand why it is taking so long for another company to create a game that can steal away the Sims fans. I would be all ears for a new sim-like game, because EA just isn't cutting it anymore.


I don't get this either. You would think after 13 years since the franchise started that they would've had some competition. I mean, it is the biggest selling franchise.

Just looking at the other single-player or MMO's there is literally hundreds of games out for different genre's. So why not the Sims?

Love does not consist of two people looking at each other, but of looking together in the right direction. - Antoine de Exupery
Lab Assistant
#33 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 2:36 AM
They have a monopoly on most of the sim-like venue. As well as trademarks. And copyrights, if I'm not mistaken.

It'd take a pretty brave company to go up against EA. And a pretty good one, at that. But it'd be nice if EA had a competitor. It'd force them to step up or step out.

TS2 Challenge Addict.
Forum Resident
#34 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 3:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Issie
I don't get this either. You would think after 13 years since the franchise started that they would've had some competition. I mean, it is the biggest selling franchise.

Just looking at the other single-player or MMO's there is literally hundreds of games out for different genre's. So why not the Sims?


They did have competition, called The Ville. I'm sure we all know how EA reacted to that.

There's a fan made hack for GTA IV that makes GTA IV kind of like the Sims, with needs and stuff. There's also an OFB like hack for GTA IV. Can't remember what they're called though.
Instructor
#35 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 4:33 AM
I think the problem is that, for all their flaws, the current Sims games certainly aren't cheap to make. I mean, it's the top-selling gaming franchise--one has to assume that they're putting a lot of money into it. So for a company to go, "okay, we want to take on this huge game franchise that has a monopoly on the market" is kinda... weird. Getting the money for a new IP is hard enough in these days, let alone to directly compete with something so huge.

Though that's no reason for companies not to make smaller-scale Sims-style games to try to chip away at the Sims monopoly and grow before they really takes on the enormity of the series.
Instructor
#36 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 5:30 AM
I've been thinking a lot about why no other publisher has attempted to make a direct competitor to The Sims. Here are the reasons I've come up with:

- Niche market. The Sims is a single game. It's not an entire genre. That is, it's not like making a first-person shooter, a genre in which you can have a lot of similar, but different takes on the same general idea. Make too many changes to The Sims and it's not really like The Sims anymore. This brings up the second issue...

- Copyright. It would be difficult to make a game similar to The Sims without making it exactly like The Sims. EA could claim copyright on all of the common elements of the game; the Needs bars, the pie-interface, etc. So anyone making a similar game would need to come up with their own version of all of that stuff... and their version would probably be worse.

- Budget. The Sims is a huge game. And that means it requires a huge budget. Any developer competing with EA would need to devote a huge amount of resources to developing the game, all in the vague hope that players of The Sims would jump ship and play their game instead. The Sims is such a well-known brand, but also a very niche product, so attempting to draw the established fanbase towards a new game would be a big gamble.

- Audience. Although The Sims has a large audience, a large chunk of its players are apparently not really "gamers". Marketing a new Sims-like game to people who don't really play games to begin with might be rather difficult. Said audience would probably stick with the brand they "know and love" rather than invest in a new product.

Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts on the subject. Making a Sims game of my own is a daydream I like to indulge from time to time, but my experience is in making 2D games, not 3D, so any game I made would end up looking like The Sims 1 at best.

I think for such a project to succeed it would need to be a large, open-source project. In other words, a game in which all of the content is custom content: made by its players. And if the project was non-commercial, EA would have a tougher time bringing its legal hammer down on it. Of course, if it was made by non-professionals, the quality would be somewhat lower, but if enough enthusiastic fans were working on it, eventually the cream would rise to the top.
Rogue Redeemer
retired moderator
#37 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 2:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by melanch0lydreams
This. While the graphics won't be as realistic as GTA, the level of detail and lighting will no doubt be improved. Lighting was a big issue for me in TS3. As long as they improve the lighting, I'll be happy with the graphics, although I do hope they are slightly less cartoonish than the pudding faces we got in the last game.


Yeah, TS3 graphics are in many aspects just flat out broken since nobody bothered to fix any blunders along the road! Like sims with their extremely poor texture quality, poor animation with a lot of clipping, and smooshed face animations... and overall small amount of new animations resulting in the "awkward silent" vibe, even when on a crowded lot! The weird general stillness was very prominent before Seasons, which came along waaaaaay late into the lifespan of TS3.

And when it comes to sim making... D: In TS3 the face sculpting in CAS appears very detailed and versatile on the surface, but is far from it in actual use. Technically the range of customization is made for those cartoonish faces only. For example the heads have huge foreheads that cannot be adjusted, so even if you'd try to make a realistic face it's extremely tricky to achieve natural proportions. Also the dis-proportioned heads mean huge looking hair styles!
And when you randomize a sim, it never looks good, ever! It would be nice to hit 'randomize' and actually end up with a somehow believable face and outfit, as it would also mean having realistic looking game generated sims & NPCs around the neighborhood.

When TS3 Medieval came along, I started hoping that it's CAS would be a early version of TS4 CAS! It has the perfect balanced look of natural, realistic faces but with a sim-like feel.
It also has:
-very good voice variety with various accents
-optional adjustable wrinkle texture to the skin
-optional adjustable skin texture detail overlay
-over all good face textures

It was so promising! But now the official TS4 release photo came along... which looks like Tangled, but with non-existed textures!
Instructor
#38 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 3:07 PM
I was pleasantly suprised at the Sims in Medieval as well. I think it was a perfect balance between the realistic and cartoony look. I think I may of gone ahead and just used the ingame content too, no need to change the skins even! That is saying something...

Too bad the S4 Sims don't seem to resemble them at all.

Love does not consist of two people looking at each other, but of looking together in the right direction. - Antoine de Exupery
Mad Poster
#39 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 4:54 PM Last edited by gazania : 15th Jun 2013 at 5:13 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glic2003
I've been thinking a lot about why no other publisher has attempted to make a direct competitor to The Sims. Here are the reasons I've come up with:

- Niche market. The Sims is a single game. It's not an entire genre. That is, it's not like making a first-person shooter, a genre in which you can have a lot of similar, but different takes on the same general idea. Make too many changes to The Sims and it's not really like The Sims anymore.


Wouldn't Activision's brief foray into the Sim-ish territory, The Movies, count as an attempt?

That was actually not bad, except my actors kept quitting, no matter what I did, and the characters looked lumpy to me. ("Lumpy" is not an improvement on "pudding". )

The game was moddable, and it was fun to see your "movies". (Mine stank, but they were amusing.)

The game did fine for a while sales-wise. But no ... I don't believe it ever did nearly as well as The Sims, and Activision abandoned it. People still enjoy playing it, however, much like people enjoy playing The Sims.

Thanks to ALL free-site creators, admins and mods.

RIP Sunni ... truly a ray of light.
Field Researcher
#40 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 5:16 PM
La Vida is a sim-sandbox-game in development.
Alchemist
#41 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 7:40 PM Last edited by Original_Sim : 16th Jun 2013 at 3:48 AM.
I'd like to refute some parts of your argument:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glic2003
I've been thinking a lot about why no other publisher has attempted to make a direct competitor to The Sims. Here are the reasons I've come up with:

- Niche market. The Sims is a single game. It's not an entire genre. That is, it's not like making a first-person shooter, a genre in which you can have a lot of similar, but different takes on the same general idea. Make too many changes to The Sims and it's not really like The Sims anymore. This brings up the second issue...


Actually, the genre would be life simulation, which is not exclusive to the Sims. There are many games that fit this genre (e.g. Fable II, Harvest Moon, the Partners, Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, Playboy: The Mansion, Kudos and several virtual pet games). The difference is, those games are limited in ways that the Sims is not and they tend to have an end-game whereas the Sims is open-ended.

The Singles: Flirt Up Your Life game lets the player control one character and have him/her engage in all sorts of romantic interaction (think Back Alley Sims). But once you've got the girl/guy you're pretty much done. You can't make babies, you can't have teens, you can't own a business, go on vacation, make baked alaska, pee on the floor, create a town, build a house, decide who your neighbors are, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glic2003
- Copyright. It would be difficult to make a game similar to The Sims without making it exactly like The Sims. EA could claim copyright on all of the common elements of the game; the Needs bars, the pie-interface, etc. So anyone making a similar game would need to come up with their own version of all of that stuff... and their version would probably be worse.


I can name 3 games that have needs bars and Sim-like gameplay aspects that did not suffer the wrath of EA:

1) Singles: Flirt Up Your Life has Hunger, Comfort, Body, Energy, Fun, Relationship, Sensuality and Surroundings. Half of those needs are exactly the same as the ones in the Sims.

2) The Desperate Housewives game has needs that can be satisfied by interacting with objects, like in the Sims. If your housewife is low in Hunger, you can have her prepare a meal and eat to satisfy the need. She can also take a shower, sleep, etc.

3) The Partners game is set in an office environment and the characters still need to sleep.

IMO these games can't hold a candle to the Sims, but they have been done so there's no reason why game developers can't create a Sims-like game without being slapped with a lawsuit. It's only a matter of time, money and some out-of-the-box thinking.

My graphics prediction for Sims 4? Maxis Matchy ala Skelljay and Fanseelamb.
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Lab Assistant
#42 Old 15th Jun 2013 at 8:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnefriends
They did have competition, called The Ville. I'm sure we all know how EA reacted to that.

There's a fan made hack for GTA IV that makes GTA IV kind of like the Sims, with needs and stuff. There's also an OFB like hack for GTA IV. Can't remember what they're called though.


I actually have no idea what happened, but I can guess. They sued?

Anyways -- EA knows that it would be quite a gamble for another company to make competition. And if it decided that the competition was too good? They'd sue for some reason or another.

We might be stuck with EA for a while until another company builds up a legacy and decides to plan strategically (or until people realize that EA isn't trying and stop buying their things). Unfortunately, neither is likely to happen in the next 5-10 years. So we're probably going to be stuck with The Sims until TS6/TS7, and then maybe, just maybe, EA might get something to worry about within the gaming market via competitors.

Until then, though, if EA doesn't realize that we don't want watered-down games, we're probably going to get just that.

TS2 Challenge Addict.
Scholar
#43 Old 16th Jun 2013 at 12:07 AM
Actually, The Ville wasn't just a "Sims-like game", it was almost an exact copy of The Sims Social. Also, it was made by notorious copy-cat Zynga, who aspires to be as evil as EA. I'm not sure if it's true, but apparently their legit business slogan is "Be Evil", and they're not not shy about admitting they copy other companies successful ideas. Most of the reason they fail at being EA level evil, is that they're so very obvious about it, in a "Special offer this week, 2 for the price of 3!" kind of way. I don't really feel all that sorry for them. :P

I don't think EA can claim the copyright to the life-simulator genre. It would be great to see competition, especially if the game was aimed at an older audience and managed to be sufficiently different that it didn't feel like a copy. Not only would we have another game to obsess over, but it would force EA to deliver.
Forum Resident
#44 Old 16th Jun 2013 at 3:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAnne
Actually, The Ville wasn't just a "Sims-like game", it was almost an exact copy of The Sims Social. Also, it was made by notorious copy-cat Zynga, who aspires to be as evil as EA. I'm not sure if it's true, but apparently their legit business slogan is "Be Evil", and they're not not shy about admitting they copy other companies successful ideas. Most of the reason they fail at being EA level evil, is that they're so very obvious about it, in a "Special offer this week, 2 for the price of 3!" kind of way. I don't really feel all that sorry for them. :P

I don't think EA can claim the copyright to the life-simulator genre. It would be great to see competition, especially if the game was aimed at an older audience and managed to be sufficiently different that it didn't feel like a copy. Not only would we have another game to obsess over, but it would force EA to deliver.


I don't feel sorry for Zynga at all. In fact, Zynga can burn in Hell as far as I'm concerned. Just saying that is was like The Sims (in fact, it was very much like The Sims, only lamer).

As for other life simulator games, the first one that comes to mind is Animal Crossing, if you can get past the fact that it's mostly geared towards tweens (which is what age I was when I was into it).
Instructor
#45 Old 16th Jun 2013 at 8:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Sim
...
1) Singles: Flirt Up Your Life has Hunger, Comfort, Body, Energy, Fun, Relationship, Sensuality and Surroundings. Half of those needs are exactly the same as the ones in the Sims.

2) The Desperate Housewives game has needs that can be satisfied by interacting with objects, like in the Sims. If your housewife is low in Hunger, you can have her prepare a meal and eat to satisfy the need. She can also take a shower, sleep, etc.

3) The Partners game is set in an office environment and the characters still need to sleep.

IMO these games can't hold a candle to the Sims, but they have been done so there's no reason why game developers can't create a Sims-like game without being slapped with a lawsuit. It's only a matter of time, money and some out-of-the-box thinking.
...


Exactly. You said "these games can't hold a candle to The Sims." And EA knew that. They were crap games, so they provided no competition, so why would EA need to take legal action against them? They were just too small and too inferior for EA to care about.

The Ville game, on the other hand, was very much a clone, and provided direct competition, so naturally EA would take legal action in that case.
Alchemist
#46 Old 16th Jun 2013 at 8:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glic2003
Exactly. You said "these games can't hold a candle to The Sims." And EA knew that. They were crap games, so they provided no competition, so why would EA need to take legal action against them? They were just too small and too inferior for EA to care about.

The Ville game, on the other hand, was very much a clone, and provided direct competition, so naturally EA would take legal action in that case.


The point is they were released.

They are "crap games" from a simmer's perspective because of their limits. But they also offer features that the Sims games don't. At least, not yet. Singles: Flirt Up Your Life has romantic interactions not available in the Sims, the Desperate Housewives game has an actual storyline and the Partners (as much as it sucks) lets players control their characters at work.

Their existence should IMO keep EA from screaming bloody murder if another game is produced with Needs bars and pie menus, because I don't think EA has rights to such features.
Instructor
#47 Old 16th Jun 2013 at 9:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Sim
...

Their existence should IMO keep EA from screaming bloody murder if another game is produced with Needs bars and pie menus, because I don't think EA has rights to such features.


Yeah, that's a good point; those games could set a precedent for future games to use the same features.
Mad Poster
#48 Old 17th Jun 2013 at 8:18 PM
EA could always "copy" Singles by adding a woohoo motive bar and get away with it. Didn't Singles come up with an erotic meter? That's why I believe motives bars aren't counted as part of EA's copyrighted features for The Sims.
Instructor
#49 Old 17th Jun 2013 at 8:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie
EA could always "copy" Singles by adding a woohoo motive bar and get away with it. Didn't Singles come up with an erotic meter? That's why I believe motives bars aren't counted as part of EA's copyrighted features for The Sims.


Perhaps the idea of "motive bars" is just too generic to be copyrighted? I'm not completely sure.

It's not possible to copyright an idea; the copyright would have to apply to the specifics of the design.
Alchemist
#50 Old 18th Jun 2013 at 2:54 PM
You can't copyright a game genre. How many first person shooters are there out there by how many developers? Give me a break. More than likely no company is willing to take on a sims like game because it would seem like an almost impossible task to compete with the world's best selling gaming franchise. I mean think about it. The majority of simmers will buy a sims expansion just because it's a sims expansion. How many posts have I seen that says "This ep doesn't appeal to me but I'll probably buy it anyway"? Quite a few. That kind of game loyalty is hard to compete with and would be costly for anyone undertaking it.
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