Home | Download | Discussion | Help | Site Map | New Posts | Sign in
Replies: 169 (Who?), Viewed: 34925 times.
Page 1 of 7
Top Secret Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 6:59 PM
Default Is this the Future of the Sims?
I am a member of Gamasutra, a game developer website. Today in my email box, I found this....it is excerpted from a longer article about EA's plans for the future. Is this what we really want? I don't...sorry.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featu..._the_future.php An interview with Rich Hilleman, the chief creative director of Electronic Arts....Hilleman is speaking in the excerpt.

"So how this might change something -- this is a hypothetical example, or else [Maxis senior VP] Lucy Bradshaw might hit me with a chair! So The Sims is the thought example that I use now to talk about it.

The Sims has three really interesting and discreet audiences: What I would call "dollhousers" -- people who build the fabulous houses that they wish they owned. They have folks who essentially have a virtual relationship with their character. And there are folks who essentially make stuff out of it: Moviemakers.

If you think about each of those current audiences today and what future Sims product we'd want to give them, what the dollhouser wants is not an application on their computer, but they want an application on their phone that I can go take a picture of that chair, and "get that chair in my game for $20," or for some number. And then what I want is I want the ability to express my houses to my friends; I want to be able to build a parade of homes for my particular house, so that I can win the Bathroom of the Year award for my particular category.

That second group -- the virtual character owners, the people who want a relationship -- they want to be able to have a deeper emotional interaction with their characters. What I would give them is the ability to have video chat with their Sims. Now, the Sims speak Simlish -- and I wouldn't change that, by the way -- but that doesn't mean that we can't have something that produces an emotionally evocative experience.

The other thing I want to do is make the Sims a part of your social life, make them a part of your friends circle, and how you do that is you make where your Sims go with you be as interesting as where you go. And so for instance, imagine an application that when I went to Mount Rushmore with my Sims in my phone in my pocket, that it sent a note to all of my Facebook friends with a postcard of the Sims standing in front of Mount Rushmore and the note on the back of what we did there. It's a goofy idea, but for somebody who cares about that character as deeply as one of their other friends, it's a natural kind of thing.

For that last group, you know, the most frustrating thing about using The Sims to make a movie is that unfortunately the Sims do what they want to do. So like in the middle of a perfectly executed scene, they decide to go to the bathroom; it's like, "Uh-oh. Wait a minute." So what movie makers want most of all is the ability to direct the Sims. But if I give them the joystick control to drive the Sims around, they're going to break things, and we're going to have less fun.

So as an example in this case, what I'll do is instead I'll give them the director. Instead of being able to direct the character themselves, I'll give them Martin Scorsese, who can. Now the trick becomes not getting the Sims characters to do what you want, but getting Martin to do what you want. I'm still abstracted in the same way The Sims has used before, but what I've done is I've turned it into a different kind of a problem that fits to the gestalt of what that customer does.

The underlying point there is that by building the service first, you align yourself with how your customers value your product. And chances are you built a client that builds the best possible incarnation of that service, that's going to be the way to build the most compelling project. The Sims is just one example; I would say the social and free-to-play and mobile spaces are probably even more important in those places."
Advertisement
Lab Assistant
#2 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 7:06 PM
Sounds like they don't have a clue about their target audience.

Also sounds like they're planning a phone app and more social features.

Definitely not what I want!
Top Secret Researcher
Original Poster
#3 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 7:23 PM
You wonder where this guy is coming from, don't ya? I mean...he has no idea why we are at home/school with our desktop/laptops rather than pushing tiny buttons on our cellphones and taking pictures of chairs we want in the game! LOL

Honestly, I think these guys think of their own fun, doing something innovative. It reminds me of an allergy doctor who told me he thought my daughter (then 10 years old) had some genetic disorder the very first time he met her! He based this on the fact that she had an overbite and a small chin. Terrified, I went home to look up the disease only to find out that children with the disorder were moderately to severely mentally handicapped. My daughter is very bright and has no issues with schoolwork. The doctor did eventually apologize..but the joy he seemed to feel when he was examining my daughter makes me wonder if it was the thrill of possibly seeing a rare disorder that made him attempt to diagnose her! She does not have the disorder..obviously. Her pediatrician was not happy with the guy.

These game designers seem to be more interested in developing something new and exciting to them than to the people who actually buy the franchise. Even if Simport catches on, is it really the reason most of us bought Showtime? Or did we buy Showtime in spite of the Simport feature?
Test Subject
#4 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 7:25 PM
"The Sims is just one example; I would say the social and free-to-play and mobile spaces are probably even more important in those places."

What have they been smoking, and will they share? Lol I hope this is not their plan for The Sims 4, or sadly I might have to leave behind my favorite franchise of the past decade.
Field Researcher
#5 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 7:30 PM
How is it possible for them to be so clueless? It doesn't take much to surf through the various Sims discussion forums or CC sites to see what people want.
Instructor
#6 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 7:33 PM
Oh, holy mother, this is bad bad news.

There's not one thing that this guy just mentioned that I would want in a Sims game. To be able to TALK to my Sims and take them on vacation with me? Are you kidding? What kind of nut-jobs does he think we all are?

If this is a clue as to what The Sims 4 is going to be like, I'm going to have to consider my 10+ year relationship with this game over. I want a divorce!

Cagley Family Legacy (A Random Legacy Challenge)
(Also looking for feedback on my world in progress; Mayfair Isles)
Alchemist
#7 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 7:59 PM
Yeah, I don't know a single person who plays Sims who actually fits this guy's descriptions of types of Simmers.
I was especially dismayed by the whole 'talk to your Sim in a phone app' idea. I don't want a relationship with my Sims, I want them to have relationships with each other. With real interactions and varied animations to express their feelings for each other. Better romance, better fights, better friendships. Leave me out of it.

And the movie director idea *cringe*. I do stories, not movies, but I feel that need to direct Sims without their needs getting in my way when shooting scenes rather than playing straight up. But using a Sim to direct my Sims around would only make that scenario worse. Just leave me with my testing cheats enabled and I'm just fine, really. I can't imagine any movie maker or storyteller wanting to use a Sim director to set up scenes.
Scholar
#8 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:00 PM
This "dollhouser" wants her application on her PC, not her phone, and has no intention of taking a pic of a chair and then spending an additional $20 for it in the store! And I rarely build fabulous gilded homes that I want to live in, I build houses that are playable.

Anyone that wants a deep emotional relationship with their Sims and have the ability to "video chat" with a pixel doll needs to seriously see a specialist...ditto for those wishing to make their Sim part of their social life. If I sent a pic of my Sim at a bar with me, my friends would have me locked up.

These guys have no clue and I hope to hell they seriously aren't going in this direction for the next generation of Sims. If so, my thoughts that Sims 3 would be my last sims game will come to fruition.
Lab Assistant
#9 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:19 PM
More about using social networks and phone apps further on in the article

Do you think we're going to get to the point where, rather than hardware savvy, it's going to be much more network and service savvy as things go more cloud-oriented, for the value proposition for presenting a game? Like, theoretically, I can play OnLive stuff on an Android device, and I can just have Batman: Arkham City on my phone that can't run Arkham City.

RH: Yeah, I think all the growth in the business for the last eight years has been people outside of the core. The vast majority of the places they're playing are not at home with a 20 foot experience from their television set; they're doing it where they are, at the time that they are. They're paying for it when they want to, the way they want to, and they're running it on the devices that they have.

For those people, the competition is really much more about their time than money. If you gain their time, you'll eventually gain their money; if you lose their time, you may not get them back. And so for us that's the challenge on these platforms is to create an experience that feels pervasive and ubiquitous across those platforms. That they don't want to go anywhere else and they don't want to spend time anywhere else, or at least limited amounts of time in those places. That's really our job.

Do I think that that's going to change the specialization in this business? It means that the services and products that customers value will increasingly be content and services that are delivered through network services that the piping and architecture of them has a lot to do with how they're qualitatively perceived. Game teams in the future will have great network engineers on them, because they won't be able to produce their services without them.
Test Subject
#10 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:20 PM
I think i feel insulted, once again EA get everything about sims players wrong.

[COLOR=Indigo]No one can make you feel inferior without your consent[/COLOR]
Instructor
#11 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rian90
That second group -- the virtual character owners, the people who want a relationship -- they want to be able to have a deeper emotional interaction with their characters.





(^If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you have not been on the Internet long enough).

Anyway, he makes us sound.. extremely creepy I guess that's how other people view us. Simmers are pretty much on the bottom of the totem pole of the Video Game Hierarchy.

♥ ❤ ❥ Tumblr ♥ ❤ ❥
Field Researcher
#12 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:34 PM
Oh my...how do they get those ideas? I would really like see a suit who develops these theories and implements them without thorough investigation (social features and simport as an example) to be crushed by a dozen of mad elephants. I've also seen this article earlier today and was literally speechless. They have no idea at all why and how people play sim games. Make a sim part of your social life? Phone apps? 20 dollar chairs? Is he even sane?
Now I begin to understand where that stupid motto - "Sims 3 is for telling stories!" came from.
And I also like how that guy wants to grab Minecraft, to make it more stable and accessible for customers of cause..yeah, ri-i-ght! Greedy, stupid bastards.
To sum it up, I mourn the future of sim franscize.

Noone expects the spanish inquisition!
My simblr and my downloads blog .
Test Subject
#13 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rian90
That second group -- the virtual character owners, the people who want a relationship -- they want to be able to have a deeper emotional interaction with their characters. What I would give them is the ability to have video chat with their Sims. Now, the Sims speak Simlish -- and I wouldn't change that, by the way -- but that doesn't mean that we can't have something that produces an emotionally evocative experience.

The other thing I want to do is make the Sims a part of your social life, make them a part of your friends circle, and how you do that is you make where your Sims go with you be as interesting as where you go. And so for instance, imagine an application that when I went to Mount Rushmore with my Sims in my phone in my pocket, that it sent a note to all of my Facebook friends with a postcard of the Sims standing in front of Mount Rushmore and the note on the back of what we did there. It's a goofy idea, but for somebody who cares about that character as deeply as one of their other friends, it's a natural kind of thing.

This seriously cracked me up. I'd like to think my sims are gorgeous but this is pushing the envelope a bit. Methinks this Hilleman is projecting. I, for one, never thought to have a "deeper, emotional interaction" (hel-lo, goosebumps!) with my sims. I'd rather my sims have that with one another, as someone already mentioned.
Fucking Awesome Nutbag
DELETED POST
29th Mar 2012 at 8:42 PM
This message has been deleted by Damocles. Reason: Violin
Site Helper
#14 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 8:51 PM
Looks like the development team is completely clueless. It's astonishing that they actually manage to make a fun game in spite of their bizarre attitudes about players.
Banned
#15 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 9:03 PM
With each game every sims player already has it in their head that they only love what already exists and will definitely hate anything new, anyway, so who cares? You were going to hate the next game no matter what it was.
Field Researcher
#16 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 9:05 PM
I think EA understands its core audience well. I've seen endless instances of people being verbally attacked for saying anything bad about The Sims. Given that climate, I'm sure they'll be successful whatever path they choose...

Simulis
απολαυστικά κακό
Rogue Redeemer
staff: retired moderator
#17 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 9:12 PM
Wow... The unique success of The Sims has been due to the fact that it's a single-player sandbox game. The thing that was described in the first post sounds like Second Life. Why would they want to turn the most successful sandbox game franchise into THAT? It sure would be a quick way to smash the whole success of the games in a heartbeat.

The players simply Do Not Want the game to evolve into 'something new and different' but instead most of us seem to want to have improved experiences based on the beloved formula that made The Sims succeed in the first place...
Field Researcher
#18 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 9:17 PM Last edited by Miss Puff : 29th Mar 2012 at 10:48 PM.
Quote:
what the dollhouser wants is not an application on their computer, but they want an application on their phone...

I don't really consider myself a builder, but I do like to build my own houses for my sims, rather than using downloads or premade houses. I like the ability to do this on my PC, I have never thought that I would really like to find a way to bring my phone into the process some how. That does not make any sense to me at all.

Quote:
...that I can go take a picture of that chair, and "get that chair in my game for $20," or for some number.

I know this is just a hypothetical number he threw out there, but I was JUST complaining to my bf this morning about one store object costing $5. I can buy entire games on Steam or PSN for $5, and this person throws out quadruple that for one chair, in a game that already comes with a bunch of chairs. Out of touch, much?

Quote:
And then what I want is I want the ability to express my houses to my friends; I want to be able to build a parade of homes for my particular house, so that I can win the Bathroom of the Year award for my particular category.

This doesn't sound like a bad idea, except the community already does this on forums. I don't really have faith in EA to make an integrated, official system that works better than what the community can do on its own. Even if they could, however, I think their resources would be better spent adding more to the building system (curved walls, anyone?) so that we have more options on what we can create, rather than more options on how to share what we create.

Quote:
That second group -- the virtual character owners, the people who want a relationship -- they want to be able to have a deeper emotional interaction with their characters. What I would give them is the ability to have video chat with their Sims. Now, the Sims speak Simlish -- and I wouldn't change that, by the way -- but that doesn't mean that we can't have something that produces an emotionally evocative experience.

Out of all the categories listed, this is the one that I guess would fit me the most, and this is not what I want at all. I'm not interested in how my sims will interact with me, I am interested in how they interact with other sims and things in their world. Maybe this isn't my category, then, but I do get attached to my sims and I become invested in their lives, so I'm not really sure where else I'd fit.

Quote:
The other thing I want to do is make the Sims a part of your social life, make them a part of your friends circle, and how you do that is you make where your Sims go with you be as interesting as where you go. And so for instance, imagine an application that when I went to Mount Rushmore with my Sims in my phone in my pocket, that it sent a note to all of my Facebook friends with a postcard of the Sims standing in front of Mount Rushmore and the note on the back of what we did there. It's a goofy idea, but for somebody who cares about that character as deeply as one of their other friends, it's a natural kind of thing.

Again, do not want. If I go to Mount Rushmore I want to take pictures of MYSELF to post on facebook, not my freakin' sims. What I want my sims to be able to do is go to Mount Rushmore IN GAME, so that I can experience the trip vicariously through them since I have never been and have no idea when or if I ever will go there IRL. If I do get a chance, I definitely won't be worrying about how my Sims game will be improved by the trip. If this were a separate, bonus app or something, fine, but it's not a service I want the game to be designed around.

Quote:
For that last group, you know, the most frustrating thing about using The Sims to make a movie is that unfortunately the Sims do what they want to do. So like in the middle of a perfectly executed scene, they decide to go to the bathroom; it's like, "Uh-oh. Wait a minute."

There are many ways to make stories out of the Sims. One way is to control everything to tell a story you made up, sure. Another way is to let the sims loose and make a story out of what they do or how things happen as you play through their lives in general. This is what I do, and I don't feel that this play style is represented well by any of the categories discussed in this article. Limiting this category only to people who make movies doesn't make sense, as it excludes a ton of storytellers and story telling methods.

Quote:
So as an example in this case, what I'll do is instead I'll give them the director. Instead of being able to direct the character themselves, I'll give them Martin Scorsese, who can. Now the trick becomes not getting the Sims characters to do what you want, but getting Martin to do what you want. I'm still abstracted in the same way The Sims has used before, but what I've done is I've turned it into a different kind of a problem that fits to the gestalt of what that customer does.

This is the only thing that sounds like it could have potential, like a sim who is a director and can give orders to other sims. That could be fun to play, even though I don't make movies or scripted stories. Or I could be completely misunderstanding what he's trying to say here.

Quote:
The underlying point there is that by building the service first, you align yourself with how your customers value your product. And chances are you built a client that builds the best possible incarnation of that service, that's going to be the way to build the most compelling project. The Sims is just one example; I would say the social and free-to-play and mobile spaces are probably even more important in those places."

This only works if you understand what services your customers want, which it seems pretty clear that this person doesn't. It sounds like he's still trying to aim for the flashy back-of-the-box pictures that'll get people otherwise unfamiliar with the game to grab it off the shelf. "Look at these shiny extra services we added that have nothing to do with the core game mechanics and are separate from what you'll spend most of you time doing in the game!"

What's the point of having more ways to share the houses you make, if it's at the expense of expanding on what kinds of houses you can make?

What's the point of having more ways to bring your sims into the real or online world, if it's at the expense of providing more things for them to do in the game world?

What's the point of having more ways for your friends to play with your sims, if it's at the expense of more ways for YOU to play with your sims? (aka simport)

All of these services WILL come at the expense of other things in the game. I have a theory that one of the reasons that LN bands weren't integrated into Showtime was because they wouldn't work well with Simport. It makes sense if they started by creating the service and then designing the gameplay around that. None of these services are necessarily bad, but they are all just gimmicky things meant to pique people's interests, and not designed to make the best possible experience for any playstyle.
Field Researcher
#19 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 9:22 PM
No, I don't think it will be sucessful no matter what, look at SimCity. Yes, they are finally making a new one, but it seems that they are screwing it from the very beginning with obligatory internet connection and multiplayer.

And whn will AdamantEve be finally banned for trolling?

Noone expects the spanish inquisition!
My simblr and my downloads blog .
Theorist
#20 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 9:57 PM
The question asked of him was: "How do you go about investigating what players may want to do?"
He followed that with a wall of words for about 6 paragraphs that had nothing to do with player wants that I could see. Maybe I didn't 'study' it hard enough, but it seems to me he didn't hear the word 'want' at all.
Lab Assistant
#21 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 10:00 PM
Thank you, EA, for telling me what I want. To think that I didn't even realize I wanted any of these thing! So kind of you to fill me in...

The only idea that has any real potential (in my opinion) is the camera-making-objects one and I'm even wary about that. I'm not sure I'd pay for the service each time I wanted to use it. Instead I'd rather have it be part of the game or an app that you buy just once. I know that meshing takes a lot of work, but what they're talking about sounds like it would be automated anyway so I don't think it would be entirely unfair.
Forum Resident
#22 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 10:15 PM
This guy doesn't deserve the position he's in right now.
Instructor
#23 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 10:24 PM
This has nothing to do with simmers. This is simply some devs wanting to jump on the app era bandwagon no matter what. The franchise is worth a lot of money but instead of thinking why it's so successful they're just trying to follow a trend without stopping to think whether the direction they want to go in fits the franchise or not. It's really, really sad how disconnected they are from their audience. The Sims 3 will be the last series I spend my money on unless by some miracle they decide for a change of course for TS4.

Quote:
See, that's why you need to be more like me. It's pretty obvious that I'm a big, terrible, mean person. If somebody says I am a terrible, mean person, I will just grin evilly....and be mean to them! It's good to be bad. *J.M. Pescado*
Field Researcher
#24 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 10:59 PM Last edited by ticklish : 29th Mar 2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: grammer and spelling
It be the last sims game i play too. If they make it like sims social where you have too spend real life money on upgrades or new furnishings. Off topic Looks like AdamantEve may get a record for the most dislikes lol.
Field Researcher
#25 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 11:07 PM
Will Wright, help us!
Page 1 of 7
Back to top

Section jump