Today, The Sims has established itself as one of the most important games in the history of video games. It has been with us for more than 20 years and does not seem to show signs of exhaustion. To top it off, it has hardly any real competition in the life simulation genre. The Sims have established themselves as the kings of the industry, but their bargain may soon be over. One of the former managers of the franchise recently presented Life By You, a game that has a very simple objective: to dethrone The Sims.
Paradox Tectonic is the company at the forefront of this challenge and with Life by You, they intend to introduce a new perspective to the simulation genre. After years of experience as an executive at EA (where he ran The Sims 2), Rod Humble knows exactly what it takes to create an immersive life simulator experience. “What the genre needed was fewer constraints,” Humble says. For that reason, he has decided to create an open world where every character you see has a life of its own beyond our actions.
Life By You is very similar to The Sims in appearance, but with crucial differences. Instead of the fictional Simlish, Humble’s title uses a dialogue system that uses real but procedurally generated language. In addition, each character in the game’s fictional city has a job, a home, relationships and the same basic needs as the character we manage.
“We call it the equivalence principle,” Humble explains in The Verge. “When you see someone in the world, they’re governed by the same rules as you – eating, going to the bathroom, having a house to live in, and so on – and you can right-click on any character you see and play with them. You have access to all their memories, gestures, dislikes, their relationships.”
While this is a much more complex technical approach than we see in The Sims, Humble believes that such a detailed simulation is necessary to create a much more entertaining gameplay experience. The depth of the simulation can be reflected in the game in a number of ways: for example, a character is hungry and to satiate himself, he will be able to place a food delivery order.
In addition, (and as you may have guessed), the title will be open world. This feature was present in The Sims 3 but not in The Sims 4, the most current release. According to Rod Humble, we will be able to see every moment that happens in the life of the characters that populate the world, something he made very clear in an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun. And Humble adds that to recreate that feeling of total freedom, we need to have “physical” freedom.
For the moment, we will still have to wait a bit until we can get our hands on Life By You.
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