Knightlife: The Sims Medieval Announced

By Quintin Smith on August 3rd, 2010 at 2:10 pm.

Right click, talk, flirt, tickle, pillage, suppress, stab.

What’s this? A press release has come tumbling through the RPS letterbox, bound in tattered leather and announcing the Spring 2011 release of The Sims Medieval. A full game of its own (presumably using the Sims 3 engine), The Sims Medieval will allow players to create their very own “Hero Sim (TM)” and then either head off on quests or focus on building up their kingdom. We’re promised “drama, romance, conflict, and comedy” involving “characters from all walks of life, from Kings and Queens, to Knights and Wizards, Blacksmiths and Bards.” Full press release, some screens and some thoughts after the break.

So this is what EA were experimenting with with the World Adventures expansion! The one for The Sims 3 which had you manually guiding your Sims through various hijinks. The idea of a Sims game that centres solely around quests is a logical enough idea, but I actually think I would have been more excited by a straight Sims game set in that American Renaissance Fayre interpretation of medieval times. Isn’t that weird? After all these years and all these expansion packs, I just want more of the same? Aie.

The press release makes it sound like there will be a little bit of that, and that players will have to make sure they “carry out their daily responsibilities such as healing the sick, trading for exotic goods, or forging armor,” but I suppose I’m after something even more mundane. Inviting the neighbours round so they can see your new thatch roof and the like. Taking an evening class in hunting. Being caught in the forest with the Lord’s daughter, all that.

Anyway, here’s that press release, transcribed from the original flaky paper:

Go back in time and get medieval! The EA Play Label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced The Sims(TM) Medieval, a new series currently in development that places the popular Sims(TM) characters from The Sims(TM) game into the Middle Ages and brings players robust, compelling gameplay never seen before in the history of The Sims. For the first time, players can create heroes, venture on quests, build and control a kingdom, and play every Hero Sim(TM) character in the land. Creativity will soar as players tell stories like never before full of drama, romance, conflict, and comedy.

“The Middle Ages is a time of intrigue, legend, and excitement. It offers a perfect backdrop for a brand new series from The Sims studio due to the limitless stories that can be told,” said Scott Evans, General Manager of The Sims Studio at EA. “The Sims Medieval offers a new way for players to experience The Sims which we hope fans will enjoy, and it features gameplay that fans of strategy and role-playing games will find appealing such as controlling an entire kingdom and quest-based gameplay mechanics.”

The Sims Medieval offers players a chance to build up a medieval kingdom, controlling characters from all walks of life, from Kings and Queens, to Knights and Wizards, Blacksmiths and Bards. It provides a host of storytelling possibilities in the form of quests, from crafting a legendary sword to arranging a royal wedding, to protecting the kingdom from an evil sorcerer, to finding the fountain of youth. Every quest plays out differently depending on which Hero Sim the player is controlling.

The destiny of the kingdom rests in the players’ hands. Will players build up their kingdom through internal expansion, or perhaps look for a more imperial type of domination, expanding their rule by conquering territories? Will they take on quests in pursuit of fame, or focus on the health and wellbeing of their people? The choice is theirs! With the start of every new game, players will be able to select a new ambition for their kingdom, and embark on a new set of stories.

Everything in The Sims Medieval is crafted to create an immersive medieval world, from the quest-based gameplay, to the medieval objects such as swords and stocks and thrones, right down to the warm look of the characters, and the painterly approach to the world itself. Players can choose to customize every new Hero that comes to the kingdom, including selecting their traits and their fatal flaw. Players get close to their characters, not only sending them on epic quests, but also making sure they carry out their daily responsibilities such as healing the sick, trading for exotic goods, or forging armor. From having a baby to competing in a royal tournament, what happens to their Sims is up to the player. The time of romance and chivalry is back with The Sims Medieval.

Developed by The Sims Studio, The Sims Medieval for PC/Mac will be available in spring 2011 and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. To download artwork, please visit www.info.ea.com. For more information about The Sims Medieval please visit www.info.ea.com or the official website at www.TheSimsMedieval.com.

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93 Comments »

  1. Matt says:

    I preferred Monolith’s take on getting medieval… even if it was just a Gauntlet clone.

  2. Dyst says:

    I actually like the sound of this. I bought this game called The Guild 2 (not sure why I bought it) in a shop a while back. The game had good ideas but the dialogue weirded me out and made me feel too nerdy and the gameplay was pretty lacking. The basic concept seemed like it had potential. I’m sure The Sims developers can make something fun out of it.

    • Larington says:

      Funny you should mention The Guild 2, bought it today myself and this announcements got my attention too (The Guild 2, uhh, it has one of those massive run on tutorials that takes ages, ick).

    • Petethegoat says:

      Oh god The Guild 2 is amazing.
      We need to get some RPS chaps together to dynasty it up.

    • Paradukes says:

      Yea, I tried it briefly. Guild 2 showed promise, right up until I ended up in combat. To be frank, the combat system in Guild 2 is basically on par with The Sims. A shame really…

      I’d have been fine playing a non-combatant character, except automation is finicky at best, and my foundries kept refusing to acquire supplies…

  3. Quark says:

    Can’t wait to recreate A Song of Ice and Fire.

  4. Sidrovich says:

    There’s already a Sims Medieval game, it’s called Fable 3.

  5. cliffski says:

    Ohh I like the sound of this, although I agree, in that it would be cool to have it more like a traditional sims, but just in that time.
    I’m surprised it took them this long to branch the sims out into different eras, and very surprised there has never been an official star-trek sims game where you could play a ferengui bartender, because clearly that would eb the most awesome game ever….

  6. Turin Turambar says:

    I will be a wizard with a pointy hat!!

  7. Dingus says:

    Last night an item popped up in your feed where you reviewed World of Warcraft magazine (unfavorably, I suspect). But the article never showed up on your site. Doesn’t have anything to do with WoW being a Blizzard product, and Blizzard is advertising another of their products on your site right now, does it?

  8. Gap Gen says:

    Will it involve monotonous grind in the fields until you die of some untreatable disease 3 hours in?

  9. pakoito says:

    There’s just something wrong about this approach. I feel I’ve played it and I can’t really say which game it was…it might be Fable, Oblivion or Shadow Over Riva or Dwarf Fortress or… just dunno.

    Kinda waiting for it to see what’s it about.

    PS: Will people bath? DISCUSS!!

  10. Alexander Norris says:

    This sounds like it could basically be a big-budget Western-made Majesty clone. I’m vaguely interested.

  11. Bobsy says:

    Hells yes. More medieval games please, and less generi-fantasy ones.

    • Jake says:

      It does mention wizards, sorcerers and legendary swords, I think it is more fantasy than actually medieval. Although actually I’ve read so much fantasy and played so many games I can’t separate fact from fiction anymore.

  12. Plopsworth says:

    So it’s a bit like the The Guild series? Raise your dynasty, buy property, fight duels, deny the market a certain product artificially raising its prices before delivering your harvest, blackmailing opposing dynasties etc. Could be less buggy, otherwise a fine game in its latest iteration (The Guild 2 Renaissance). Take a look at the “Let’s play” videos for it on youtube.

  13. Freud says:

    Managing your need to pee while wearing a full mail armour sounds like fun.

  14. Tunips says:

    I do hope it will be possible to import the thousands (surely) of new beard and moustache options back into Sims 3.

  15. HYPERPOWERi says:

    Will there be chastity belts?

  16. terry says:

    I do like the story framework idea – this and the screenies make me think of a modern version of the old Robin Hood/Rome isometric style games that I think Millennium published. There was an overarching story to both, but the player was relatively free to potter about achieving nothing but haphazardly firing arrows and being beaten up. Interesting games, marred only by the hideous controls and a limited number of things to do. If they can flesh out the same sort of atmosphere in this then awesome.

    And catapults. There must. Be. Catapults.

  17. Poz the Sock says:

    I personally can’t wait to choose the Crusader career path and send my sims to their deaths in the Syrian desert.

  18. Wulf says:

    The sad part of this is that there will no doubt be gameplay that involves being a hero and slaying dragons, but I’m still waiting for the game that allows one to be a dragon, massively powerful, bored megalizard.

    So, you’re bored. There’s a kingdom down there, and you decide you want some followers, do you do this…

    A) The Zhaitan way, and raise an army of undead to storm the kingdom and teach those people respect via fear?

    B) The Gorbash way, by doing heroic deeds and earning their trust and reverence?

    C) The Ancalagon way, by just being a war-machine of apocalypse unto yourself, subjecting them to endless plagues and disasters until they submit?

    D) The Glaurung way, by enslaving people and eventually bringing the entire kingdom under your sway?

    E) The Smaug way, by bankrupting the economy of the kingdom by hoarding all of their treasure through clever means, eventually buying them out?

    F) …by combining all or some of the elements above?

    You’re still bored, you want some entertainment, do you…

    A) Kidnap a princess, wait for the hero to turn up, and see just how badly you can mess with his head?

    B) Perform some wish fulfillment for random little people, just for the heck of it?

    C) Join a party of adventurers (in the form of an elf) and craft their perceptions so their final goal is to defeat you, and then laugh when you reveal the joke?

    D) Find a flight of dragons to fly with for a bit and have a chat, to see what they’ve been up to?

    E) Decide to seek wealth in a new and interesting way? (Instead of just sacking a kingdom, you team up with an adventurer, plague some towns a bit, have him pretend to slay you, and you make off with the rewards.)

    F) Rise to ultimate power, found a council of dragons, and then make absolutely ridiculous laws that the little humans will have to deal with?

    G) A mixture of all of the above? o.O

    And so on.

    Oh the things you could do with a simmy/strategy/god game in which the dragon is the main character. Someone has to do it eventually. Seems more fun than just being some old knight or bard. :p

  19. pipman300 says:

    monthy python the game

  20. Yargh says:

    sounds fun, does it include the black death, constant violence, religious persecution and treating females as subhuman?

  21. Kast says:

    This… sounds like what I’ve been after for ages. Build, stock, populate and lead a castle. Who’d have thought The Sims would have been the series to supply it.

    • Stromko says:

      Wouldn’t count on it. EA will find a way to make it rigid, monotonous and boring in order to motivate us to buy expansion packs.

  22. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    “The Middle Ages is a time of intrigue, legend, and excitement…” Ha. Ahahahaha. Aha. Excuse me while I have an historian moment.

  23. stahlwerk says:

    I don’t know if EA realized this, but people in the middle ages (even in the “dark” parts) had basically the same life and problems as people nowadays, added of course a higher child/mother mortality, the trade-off of slow vs. unpleasant transportation and of course unavailability of chemically engineered products.
    But ask them and they would complain about the weather, rising crime and incompetent politicians.
    In the evening they would go to the tavern to exchange news or hear stories, told by traveling folk who maybe picked them up from a bard or monk someplace else.
    Those stories may have featured heroes, dragons and wizards and all that stuff, because that’s entertainment, but heroism itself was about as much part of daily life as it is today (i.e. not much).

    tl;dr: I become AIM when romantic fantasy is said to depict medieval life.

    Fake Edit: ^^^^ What realmenhuntinpacks said ^^^^

    • Lilliput King says:

      And grown men rarely trap themselves in a diamond shaped room of their own design, piss themselves and die.

      It’s a friggin game. More than that, it’s the friggin Sims.

    • stahlwerk says:

      I don’t have a problem with the game, I just dislike the wording in the press release. They use the word “medieval” as if it was synonymous to “taking place in the arthurian legend”. Which it isn’t, because it (rather broadly) defines a period in real human history. It’s like saying a game is set in the world of today and then including jetpacks, dinosaurs, nanomachines, nanosaurs and terminators (with jetpacks).

    • pipman300 says:

      the reason there’s no true authenic medieval games is because gross dudes use it as an outlet for their misogyny. see: taleworlds forum.

      dudes can’t even discuss it without giving off not so sublte hints to how gross they are.

    • pipman300 says:

      ”if i can’t treat women as sub human trash that’s barely intelligent and useless for anything but popping out babies i’m not buying your game” – every medieval nerd

    • Tei says:

      The medieval roulette:
      You are a women, you have a 33% to die wen giving birth to a baby, and you will have 10 babies.
      If you grown old enough, people will call you “witch” and burn you ( old age mean 40+ years, since most people die way before the 40 years old )

    • stahlwerk says:

      @pipman300 wait… What? I don’t want EA to make a “haggle with the in-laws for dowry” simulator. I’d like them to at least acknowledge that the game’s setting is fantasy based.

      Granted, no-one in their right mind would read “protect the kingdom from an evil sorcerer” and think it’s a realistic depiction of medieval politics. It wouldn’t suprise me however if all NPCs believed the world is flat and your Sim dies at 26 of “old age”.

    • stahlwerk says:

      @Tei for periods or regions with high infant mortality you need to distinguish life expectancy at birth from life expectancy at higher age, e.g. 5: http://www.plimoth.org/discover/myth/dead-at-40.php

    • Dinger says:

      BS. 90 percent of the population is gonna be working the fields. It’s only when you focus oon the useless parts of society that medieval chicks appear useless.
      oh wait, you want cities? So, will you be simulating Ashkenazim or Sephardim? What are the possibilities to have a HeroSim(TM) found a popular religious movement on the edge of orthodoxy?

      oh. damsels-n-shit

  24. Cokesakto says:

    There was already a medieval Sims game. They called it Crusader Kings.

  25. Davie says:

    Hmm, this sounds like a Sims game I might actually give a whit about. Imagine that. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

  26. Nallen says:

    “Creativity will soar. Yah hear me? God dammit creativity will soar. I don’t want to hear your excuses, I want these morons to have their creativity soar, and I want them to tell stories and want my God damn money train to soar with it. Now go make sure they get the message.”

  27. Sagan says:

    This is a glimpse of the future of gaming. In the future, all NPCs in RPGs will have at least a rudimentary level of Sims-like AI. Instead of the “go to sleep at night, walk around randomly and talk during the day” we have currently, NPCs will go to sleep when they are tired, will walk somewhere when they have a purpose to go there and will talk to people whom they like.

    Bioware should use the Sims’ AI to populate their cities. You could have hundreds of people walking around plausibly without the need to script every one of them.

    • pakoito says:

      It’s called The Elder Scrolls saga.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @pakoito

      The AI in Oblivion or Morrowind only really knew how to do those things in Sagan’s first list, though, and it’d take an idiot to find that satisfactory.

      I refuse to believe anyone would spend literally hours of their day telling strangers about mudcrabs.

    • Taillefer says:

      Other games have had Sim-like AI before The Sims. I don’t think it’s the difficulty of coding it that stops devs including it but suitability to other genres. You’d have to design your game around it which would be difficult (but potentially interesting) beyond a sim game. It seems to make sense to have a town populated by needs-driven NPCs but you’d always want specific behaviour from many of them in the game, so you’d probably end up tweaking so many to the point they may as well be on a schedule like in Gothic or The Elder Scrolls.

    • stahlwerk says:

      There’s a problem with AI Level of Detail. If the player moves too far away from a citizen, the programmer will have to scale back the NPCs AI routines (increasing the time between state updates, teleporting instead of path finding etc.) The more NPCs you need to simulate, the lower your AI budget becomes for each agent, thus the LODding may occur at decreased distances, or even when the player is watching. So the player may look in awe across the sprawling city marketplace, but as soon as he notices that people in the back bump into each other constantly or switch into idle states, it tends to disrupt the immersion which the programmer tried to achieve with his realistic AI.

      Also, I’d bet that a finely tuned (but necessarily imperfect) do-stuff-all-day AI would either fall into the uncanny valley or could not be distuingished from a random task switching.

  28. Kadayi says:

    Definitely building off the world adventures idea (which was pretty good imo). This could prove to be quite interesting.

  29. Choca says:

    If this was Maxis of old, I would be hugely interested ; a “life simulation” in the Medieval era (or even better : Renaissance) with all the intrigue and powerplay could be really excellent (and as much as I like the Guild 2, its ergonomy is just horrible).

    Sadly it will most likely just be a skin for the Sims with some ridiculous interactions and a “become Merlin” profession.

  30. Antlia says:

    I would invite the husband of a certain lady to visit me and I when he was marveling at my prison dungeon I would magically create rapid stone walling that traps him inside.

  31. Taillefer says:

    Also, I remember that battle well.

  32. Tei says:

    On my book the originality of this is:
    0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 points.

    The reason is that The Sims game already exist, you can play it. So making it again is kind of… pointless from a artist point of view. Would be like making the Eiffel Tower again. Sorry, but has been done before by.. he.. the same guys actually, but this don’t make it less sour and sad.

    Make something else, please.

    • pipman300 says:

      i chopped off someone elses hands so i could give this post 4 thumbs down. :D

    • Kadayi says:

      I don’t quite think it’s going to be as similar as you imagine. Sure mechanistically it’s going to same, but I’d imagine there’s going to be a lot more narrative to it in some ways. Which is probably why it’s a separate game rather than a costume fair expansion pack.

  33. Diziet says:

    Reading that and then some of the comments made me want to play Genesia again. Just to hear everybody dying of dysentery a few hours in; just when you were doing well……

  34. Zwebbie says:

    Here’s hoping it’ll be realistic enough to wash away some of the misconceptions RPS readers have of the Middle Ages ;) .

  35. pipman300 says:

    what we really need is a sims game based on oregon trail. sims spraying diarrhea everywhere. pappa sim hunting buffalo to extinction. trying to cross a river by floating your wagon and messing it up. writing crude messages on tomb stones, and finally dying 10 miles from oregon.

  36. Snall says:

    Cant I please just have an awesome sim remake of Conqueror 1046 (Or whatever year, no not 1066) that game could be so awesome if made right these days…

  37. Martin says:

    You are loser.

  38. Javaguy says:

    ” robust, compelling gameplay never seen before in the history of The Sims”

    Mmm.

  39. DaveyJones says:

    I’ve never been so excited to be disappointed by something after I’ve played it. Oh wait, I bought Spore.

  40. RoteByrd says:

    not to bee TOO pedantic, but syphilis was brought to Europe from America.

  41. TheCentralGovernment says:

    I was expecting some Bayeux Tapestry image macros ….

  42. Fireball says:

    Will this game be like Medieval 2: Total War? I mean will there be historical accuracy?

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