You don’t need to be a genius to know that The Sims will likely be getting a fourth installment soon. Once they roll out the pets, it’s usually not long before EA moves on. Though the franchise is better than ever, there are a few things missing.
The camera controls for The Sims have never been great. And unfortunately they haven’t really changed much since the original Sims hit stores. All too often I find myself trying to peek through a wall or arguing over which floor the camera is anchored to. Players definitely need to be able to fly freely through the world. Which brings me to …
It’s long past time for players to be able to see through their Sims’ eyes… better yet control their Sims from a first-person perspective. The emphasis in The Sims 3 has been on exploration and adventure (a much needed boost for the franchise) and a first-person perspective makes that even more interesting. It would also make it easier to have a …
Better conversation/relationship system
If first-person would have one excellent use, it would be in a conversation. I like the way relationships have progressed in the Sims 3, but it’s a shame that there’s not a better way to judge other Sims’ moods and expressions.
It would also be great to incorporate an idea from MMOs, factions. A faction is simply a social group and a player could increase or decrease their standing with the group by performing (or not performing) actions related to it. For example, if you were caught stealing, then every person in a law enforcement faction would think less of you.
To be fair, it would be best if every Sim was in every faction and their reaction to your standing in a faction depended on their own. For example, if two Sims were both hated by law enforcement, they would like each other. Those who dwelled in the mid-range of a faction, would be ambivalent about Sims on the ends of the spectrum. It would make story telling a bit easier, speaking of which …
Make it easier to follow what happens
Every Sim (past and present) should have a simple bio I can read to keep up with what’s going on. That includes, who they’re dating, where they work, why they’re mad at me, why they’re mad at someone else, why they’re dead, why they moved, etc. The Sims 3 keeps up with some of this info, but you can miss notifications pretty easily.
Update the UI
There are too many specifics to get into it, but anyone who plays the game will undoubtedly find ways to streamline the UI. That begs the question how often do the devs play the game? Perhaps the time has come to consider something other than radial menus?
One world, multiple cities
Instead of starting a city, why not let players start a world with all of the cities available and come and go as they please? Maybe they have to move for a job? Maybe they fall in love with someone in another town? The Sims 3 already has this to some degree with vacation spots in World Adventures.
The Sims 3 was a marginal increase over The Sims 2. I understand that a certain visual style is desired, but it would be great if things could be polished a bit better. I don’t need lots of fog or weather effects, just general quality, really.
One thing I loved about Spore was the idea that anonymous players contributed to my game. I’d love to see something like this with The Sims. I’m not sure how feasible that is, so it’s not a feature I have to have. But it would be interesting to see houses or cities r even just book titles that others have generated in their own games.