Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Evolution of The Sims

Most of my friends know about my serious Sims addiction. I've been playing since the game came out 2000 and own almost all of the expansion packs for each stand-alone Sims (The Sims, The Sims 2, The Sims 3). As of today, Electronic Arts is on their third version of the the Sims, which has made huge strides since the original came out 11 years ago.

In the original Sims, the graphics were basic, though at the time the game seemed amazing. The characters walked in stiff movements, with their fingers clearly stuck together. The options when creating your Sim was very limited. You were able to choose your sims face from a short number of options. This meant sims in the same town could have exactly the same look (facial features, hair color, eye color, etc;). The same went for clothes, you could select the athletic outfit, the pink dress, the grungy homeless-looking one, and a few others. There was never an option to change the colors or mix and match the tops and bottoms. And forget about picking the shoes or accessories. All in all, the graphics were plain and didn't allow for creativity.

Today, the Sims 3 allows for serious creativity. Controls allow users to manipulate almost every part of the face. You can adjust cheek bones, nose bridge width, and how far set in the eyes are, just to name a few. Hair color can be changed in great detail, featuring alterations in base, highlight, low light, and root colors. And of course, you have the entire color wheel to choose from. Clothing can be customized piece by piece, adjusting color and pattern. Aside from the huge spectrum of customizing you can do to the look of your sim, you can also customize the furniture, and wallpaper in your house. The reality of the interactions between these sims vs. the sims featured in 2000 is remarkable.

(The image on the left is a screen shot from the original Sims, the image on the right is taken from the Sims 3)

1 comment :

  1. Before there were the Sims, Lucas Film ventured into computer games, which they rightly saw as the next big thing by releasing Habitat which I consider the closest predecesor, and I am sure Will Wright was influenced and inspired by it as I was (we were both working at Electronic Arts at the same time )