Hands On with The Sims 4!

Emotional Gameplay

Producer Grant Rodiek is the emotional gameplay guy! He gave us a very detailed overview of the way the game mechanics work and how Sims 4 shows this in so much more detail than previous games. So much so that you will be able to glean more information about a Sims mood by looking at their face, or the way they walk, than by looking at the User Interface like we have become used to.

When considering gameplay they decided that if a Sim is more often than not sad, or angry, then the game was not so fun to play, so they decided that in the future, negative storytelling should not result in negative gameplay. Just because your Sim is moody it shouldn't make you feel that the game is not worth playing.

A sad Sim can be seen slumped forward, walking slowly and grimacing, with raised eyebrows and maybe even a quivering bottom lip. An angry Sim will stomp around with clenched fists. A Sims mood might also restrict their interactions to be more realistic, so a sad Sim can no longer flirt because in life, that's unlikely to be possible. They can complain about their problem though! Angry Sims can denounce friendships and chew people out, but cannot offer encouragement.

Many more things will affect a Sims mood in Sims 4. Moodlets fuel emotions but even furnishings will change Sims feelings. In one example we saw, a Sim started feeling frisky after viewing an amorous piece of artwork. Grant suggested that you could build a love cave with romantic paintings and lots of pinks and reds if they are a Sims' favourite colour.

You could create a Gym with angry pictures, dark colours and object that suggest power to build anger and therefor productivity in a Sim working out. Not all objects are emotions based, only the ones where it makes sense for them to do so. Emotions can also be drawn from watching movies or reading books, if it has a particularly sad storyline for example. Sims can even randomly wake up and get out of bed in a bad or sad mood, just to add another touch of reality to our Sims lives. They may also come home from a bad/good day at work with a changed mood to when they left home.

Emotions were described as being like temporary traits as they can give certain unique interactions in the short term. This was shown with the brilliant new object, the Gigantic Pirate Ship Playground where happy, fun parents can play with children, chasing them around dressed up as a sea monster, but sad Sims cannot feel playful and therefor won't have such interactions available. Different ages have different emotional content assigned to them but we were told that all ages have them! Teenage was mention here ;-)

Emotions can be controlled by the player by influencing what a Sim does. For example taking a bubble bath will reduce sadness, taking a salty shower will allow a Sim to have a good cry and a cool shower will help a Sim cool down if angry.

Grant suggested that there were around 15 different emotions which included Confident, Flirty, Bored, Cranky, Embarrassed and Energised.

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