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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 16th Sep 2020 at 7:53 PM
Default Skintone Genetics -- Archetypes and SkinHue
Well, I've read all the comments on CmarNYC's Skininator and I see she doesn't feel she knows how skintone inheritance works in TS4, and in general there seems to be very little info about it... but I wonder if we know anything about these two properties in particular.

First, this part isn't exactly genetics, but the fact that skintones with archetypes are more likely to be picked ('picked' means when the game generates new Sims, not when children are born to in-game parents? or is it both?) suggests that the game is using these archetypes in some way -- perhaps this means that in the process of generating a Sim, it chooses an archetype and then creates the Sim using content, EA or random-allowed CC, that belongs to this archetype? So a skintone that only has the Asian archetype would only be selected when generating an Asian Sim, but a skintone flagged for several could be selected when generating Sims for any of them, and that is why it's picked more often? Is that something we already know is true, something that sounds like reasonable speculation, something we already know is NOT true?

Second, do we have any idea whether, or at least know how possible/likely it is that, these tags are used in inheritance? i.e. do children get skintones with archetypes that match at least one of the archetypes of at least one of the parents? This is probably difficult to test with skintones that have lots of archetypes, but seems like it'd be fairly easy to test by creating a pair of skintones each tagged with a single archetype (the same one for both) and seeing what skintones their kids get, as long as you could easily identify the skintone (and thus check its archetypes) of each child.

Finally, do we know if the SkinHue property is used in inheritance, or could be? i.e. should a child get a skintone matching the SkinHue of at least one parent? (I really, really hope this is true. I stuck almost entirely to one undertone family when making a big genetic set in TS2 because otherwise there was no way to prevent, say, white parents with very pink undertones from having a baby with a pale golden, obviously meant to be Asian skintone, or vice versa -- TS2 skintone genetics were purely a light-dark scale and nothing else, and while it was possible to create separate mini-scales if you stayed within them (i.e. you could create a light-dark gradient of blue skintones and give them all numeric values higher than the value for the darkest natural skintone, or even a yellow-green-blue gradient, and as long as your Sims with skintones on that scale only ever reproduced with each other, you'd get sensible genetic outcomes, but if Sims on different scales reproduced then the results might be completely ridiculous to look at.)

Oh, and one addendum, I guess: do alien parents only pass on their exact skintone, or can a blue alien parent have a kid with a different blue skintone (that isn't the other parent's skintone if the other parent is also blue but a different shade), or is it entirely random and alien kids aren't necessarily the same color as their parents at all? (And do we know anything about any other occult skintones? I know kids of occults don't all instantly become occults themselves when they reach the youngest age the option exists for, but I haven't fooled around with them enough to know if their occult-state appearance has anything to do with their parents at all.)
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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#2 Old 23rd Sep 2020 at 4:59 AM
Nobody's got anything on this? Or has enough interest and enough existing knowledge to try doing some testing? I can certainly test some of it myself, but I've only recently been sucked in enough to start looking into this stuff, and we've had six years... hard to believe no one has beaten me to it.
Ms. Byte
#3 Old 23rd Sep 2020 at 7:38 PM
All I know is what's in the Sims Wiki: https://sims.fandom.com/wiki/Genetics - which you've probably seen.

I've searched for more in the past with no luck except I think I've seen a suggestion that the swatch color or index may be used in natural skin colors to find a game color in between the parents. I think it would take a lot of testing to answer your questions.

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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#4 Old 24th Sep 2020 at 2:44 AM Last edited by Cidira : 24th Sep 2020 at 2:46 AM. Reason: it ate my phone emoji, so I added an MTS one instead
Well, I believe today is the first time I've ever been told EXACTLY how jossed I was going to be in the future, so... Whatever it is now, it probably won't be the same after December.

I'm sure it would take a lot of testing, at any rate. I'm just mystified by how so many players could have used custom skintones for so many years, and not only has no one done really detailed data collection, but we don't even really know whether it's common for kids that have at least one parent with a custom skintone to turn out noticeably too light or dark, or for kids (even if the parents both have EA skintones) to have jarringly different undertones from their parents? That's the thing that puzzles me. But in a few months we'll hopefully have enough flexibility with the skintones already in the game that I won't need custom ones anyway, and the main reason I wanted to understand how the genetics work was to be sure any custom skintone I liked enough to use got configured to at least produce sensible light/dark results, and if possible sensible undertone results.
Ms. Byte
#5 Old 24th Sep 2020 at 9:08 AM
Oh joy, a major change to skintones and makeup so I have to figure out new formats and update my tools!

I agree, it's surprising there's so little information about TS4 genetics. Testing isn't even all that hard since you can generate offspring in CAS, just tedious.

Please do not PM me with mod, tutorial, or general modding questions or problems; post them in the thread for the mod or tutorial or post them in the appropriate forum.

Visit my blogs for other Sims content:
Online Sims - general mods for Sims 3
Offline Sims - adult mods for Sims 3 and Sims 4
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#6 Old 25th Sep 2020 at 1:52 AM
Yeah, I totally told someone who was whinging about windows and doors (as 'I'm going to sue EA for breach of contract because something like two and a half of their items also have broken cutouts and it's been two whole weeks' whinging, and no, I'm not really exaggerating) the other day that if they wanted to be sure EA wasn't ever again going to release an update that would require any changes to any existing CC then they should probably play Sims 2 or Sims 3 instead, but on the other hand I also understand why someone might be thinking about going back to Sims 2 or Sims 3 right now. (I love Sims 2 and probably WILL go back someday! But now it's time for me to play with Sims 4, because it's a shiny new toy to me.) I'm looking forward to the possibility of actually having enough skintones already in the game to not want CC ones, though. Especially since I was seriously considering ditching CC skintones even before knowing that, if I couldn't figure out how to either predict their behavior or make their behavior predictable, and if I was only going to have the current number of EA skintones in my game, then I wasn't going to tolerate ANY of the "natural" skintones being literally brownish red instead of brown with red undertones.

I may do some testing anyway just because it irks me not having ANY idea. Seems like for both archetypes and skinhue I ought to be able to make a pair of custom skintones, one light and one dark, that each have the same value (and no additional ones in the case of archetypes), and a set of default replacements, for testing purposes only, that have a big obvious marking on the face that indicates which EA skintone slots have the same value as the one I picked. Make two test Sims in CAS, each having one of the two custom testing skintones, generate offspring between them, see if I get the skintones I visually flagged as having the same value.
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