We’ve been waiting for this day for five, very long, years. Sims 4 is finally hitting the shelves and we spoke to Sims 4 producer Graham Nardone about what we can expect from the new game and how he got such a frickin’ awesome job!
What are the main differences between Sims 3 and Sims 4?
We really thought it was important, when we started to work on the fourth Sims, to refocus on the Sims themselves. Really giving a lot of depth to our Sims characters was in important. All the stuff with emotions in that game, the way they believably interact with each other, the way you’re setting up the personality of your Sim, it all feeds into this new depth of options in the game play. When you’re in those different emotions, you can now unlock different interactions when you’re socialising with other Sims or when you’re interacting with object and that just increases the possibilities of what you can do. Of course the other really big new thing for us is the gallery- being able to share all that content so easily with in the game or accessing it from other from other players with just a couple of clicks. That’s going to be huge in terms of what it allows players to do, how they interact with each other and how they start customising their games.
Is there opportunity to interact with other people online and hook up with your friends that are playing?
It really is so easy now, right through the gallery so as you’re sharing content you can tag things, you can follow other people, you can leave comments on peoples creations. But there isn’t a direct multi-player component and that’s actually a result of listening to our fans and what they want for the franchise. They’ve grown with us for 15 years now and you see a lot of other games online now and of course the Sims experimented with that with the Sims online but it was very important for us and for our core audience of fans, that this was a strong single player experience.
What’s your personal favourite feature from Sims 4, do have something you just dig into?
What I honestly really enjoy about the game are the neighbourhoods. When you get in there and start playing with the neighbourhoods it feels like a more intimate experience, it feels like a real neighbourhood that you’re a part of. Really for the for the first time in a Sims game I feel like my neighbours matter and I recognise them I see them strolling down the street in the morning there’s always something going on in the front of your and you can quickly go out and interact with them. And those public spaces that aren’t specifically on a lot, this is the first time we’ve really opened them up for play.
How did you get into the gaming industry?
I’ve loved games for as long as I can remember, playing with them as a child and growing up with other friends and they all had gaming systems, I did not have one my parents refused to buy one for me they said you will spend all your time playing games, they were right (laughs). Eventually I got diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 13 and my parents felt so bad for me that they bought me a video game console and I knew this was something I wanted to keep doing. Growing up I took jobs at arcades, I worked at electronics boutiques I always wanted to be involved in games in some way. Over the years, especially meeting people in multiplayer games, that’s what’s lead to me working for the Sims today. It’s this cool thing about the industry because it is such a large industry but in many ways in feels small because so many people know each other from different companies and those connections really matter in the industry. Being able to know people and have friends and go to different companies and just be welcome there is a really cool thing.
What is it about the Sims that makes it so addictive to play?
I think it’s just accessible and relatable. There’s nothing out there that’s a life simulator and we don’t take it very realistic approach on life, we take a kind of optimistic approach on life and I think that’s fun for people to get into. No matter what they’re doing whether they’re kind of retelling a story of their lives in the Sims or if they kind of letting their creativity flow haphazardly, any of that sort of stuff is supported in the game. You can go down so many different paths like if you enjoy building there are people who spend all their time just building and never even touch live mode so there’s just so many ways you can approach it. I think we’re very open especially with social issues as well so there’s no condemnation in the game, it’s open, it’s fun, it’s inviting so people can come in and do whatever they want and find their own ways to have fun and I think that’s a really cool part of it.
Sims 4 is available now!