The Sims 4′s Character Creator Is More Powerful Than God

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Chin elongations, the next big thing in fashion

Maxis has always had quite a knack for character creation tools, and The Sims 4 will apparently take that to a Whole New Level. Each Sim? Naught but an amorphous lump of flesh putty. And you? Some kind of divine hand that pokes, prods, and pinches your wildest dreams (or shrieking nightmares) into existence. There’s a trailer showing off the new tools below. I can’t wait to make so many oozing alien sludge babies.

Admittedly, Maxis spent the whole video making very human-like characters, which means the developer of The Sims plays The Sims the wrong way. They set it to some delightful elevator music, though.

It’s quite a tool set. I especially like the direct manipulation of every physical feature and the ability to zoom in and see which specific regions can be mussed and molded. It really does look like working with clay or playdough or something along those lines.

And the rest? Well, the rest looks like another Sims game – a formula that, unlike its characters, seems pretty set in stone these days. Who’s ready for more gibberish-packed, disaster-ridden shenanigans? Who’s ready to cackle with glee at the prospect of torturing tiny ant people, only to feel hideously bad about it three seconds later?

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106 Comments »

  1. Mittens89 says:

    I actually like the Sims. They’re fun, enjoyable time wasters, plus I like designing homes that I will never be able to afford in real life.

    • Artist says:

      Just wait for the “Trailer Park”- and “Stupid white trash”-Addon, hehe!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I also quite like the sims but I dislike how they operate.

      I just looked on origin and there are at least 10 full expansions to the Sims 3 each costing £20 or £30 in addition to the £25 base game. There are at least 25 DLC packs going for between £10 and £20 each

      To purchase the complete collection of sims 3 through origin would cost you £535. Once you have done that, of course, I seem to recall that many of those addons and DLC are incompatible with eachother so you’ll be shafted further

      So yeah, The sims is fun to muck around for a little bit but it’s probably a good idea to get the base game and forget anything else ever exists. If they let you

      • Chalky says:

        Yeah, their DLC/expansion policies are pretty insane – especially considering the fact that the performance of the game completely disintegrates if you have a large number of the expansions installed.

        That said, they clearly sell well to their target audience, so I guess they’re happy with this model. It’s hard to criticise, the games have high production quality and if people want to throw money at this sort of DLC then you can hardly fault them for providing it.

      • rexx.sabotage says:

        The sims 3 is a broken mess of dysfunctional parts that the modding community had to cobble back together. with EA’s track record don’t expect much more from their next cash grab.

        How many times are they going to sell the same damned expansion packs? You would swear they they are putting forth effort to intentionally be rated as one of the worst companies every year.

  2. DanPryce says:

    Oh cool, so they’ve turned character creation into the Super Mario 64 title screen.

  3. viking123 says:

    Clearly you dont know GOD,so please think of those that do know GOD and love him :The Sims 4′s Character Creator Is More Powerful Than God,

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      “so please think off those”

      How does one think somebody off?

      • drinniol says:

        It’s like jerking, but more mental. Just like viking123.

        • viking123 says:

          SO you still jerking ,man get yourself a girlfriend,like normal men do,now i understand why you play sims,the jerking of infront off the pc,HA,HA

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Yo, YouTube called, they want you back.

            Also, why are they letting you near the interwebz in the church you live in?

          • SuicideKing says:

            It’s vikings123 vs Satan, boys! Also, dem scruffy Beatles, have you HEARD WHAT THEY SAY BACKWARDS?!

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I had to burn all the vynils!!

          • dontnormally says:

            We are being trolled.

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        Cinek says:

        non-native English.

      • viking123 says:

        Will this be better.And you want to Request Deletion.MMMM wonder why.

    • Zanchito says:

      I certainly hope you’re talking about Lord Krishna.

      • viking123 says:

        No dont know your god,

        • Drake Sigar says:

          He is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, “What is the riddle of steel?” If I don’t know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me. That’s Krishna, strong on his mountain!

          • hungrycookpot says:

            Ah, my god is greater. He is the everlasting sky! Your god lives beneath him.

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            jrodman says:

            My god’s mom can beat up your god’s mom.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          If you think you have something to say that’s important, you should at the very minimum make sure you’re able to communicate effectively in the language you’re choosing to say it in.

          On a related note, it’s the one that looks like a dot, that you’re supposed to end sentences with.

      • Unruly says:

        I prefer Sithrak, the god that hates you! That way, when things go wrong, I know exactly who did it and why. None of that “works in mysterious ways” cop-out crap.

        Warning: The comic linked is SFW, but others on that site are decidedly NSFW.

      • MobileAssaultDuck says:

        I think it is quite obvious that he is referring to Nurgle.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      My GOD is a GOD that demands I drink from the tiki bar until my bladder is full to bursting, then blocks the door to my bathroom and forces me to wallow in my own filth when I finally piss myself. He is a cruel, unjust GOD.

      • Unruly says:

        Sounds to me like you, too, are a worshipper of Sithrak. Bask in his malevolence and know that he hates you!

    • Humanji says:

      Crom cares little for character creation. That is how the Sims 4 is more powerful for him. But when it comes to what is best in a Sim life, Crom knows that it is to to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

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        soulblur says:

        Crom is so sexist.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          I quite agree, men can lament just as well as women, why doesn’t he listen to our lamentations too?

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            No boobs, no party.

            Well, i guess you could get fatter, but it wouldn’t be the same.

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            JamesTheNumberless says:

            Replied to the wrong thing? We’re discussing men’s equal rights to be heard lamenting here.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            my point was to make up a reason why he doesn’t care about us, but still, now i’m unsure about what i actually read and my life in general.

          • Boringjorn says:

            Would you say your latest comment could be called a “lamentation”?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Hey guys, I love this community but I was a little disappointed to see the reactions to this post. Whilst viking’s beliefs might not match yours or mine, and their request may be a little suspect or hypocritical what follows his comment amounts to little more than bullying. unsurprising to see them lash out in response. I feel like a pompous idiot white knighting about the place but I usually keep quite about these things and it makes me sad to see

      • drinniol says:

        It’s just like arguing which superhero you like best.

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        JamesTheNumberless says:

        Sorry but people like him set themselves up and should be able to predict the responses they’re going to get. The problem with people who stand up for their faith, is that more often than not, they’re unqualified to do so! They just end up being easy to ridicule and creating a messy embarrassment for people who share their beliefs.

        One is never going to appeal to non-Christians by using pulpit language that is designed to appeal to fellow Christians. CS Lewis knew this in the 1940s. One can’t get into theological debate outside of their church unless they really know their theology.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          It is a fair point that people shouldn’t feel good about themselves for crassly picking on an easy target, and should resist the urge. But this is the internet, it’s what people come here for.

          • maxi0 says:

            *It is a fair point that people shouldn’t feel good about themselves for crassly picking on an easy target, and should resist their urges. But this is a dark alley famed for being a popular short-cut for heavily intoxicated young women, it’s why would-be rapists come here.*

            Now don’t get me wrong, I’m as turned off by religious dogma as the next free-thinking atheist – in fact I’d describe myself as strongly anti-theistic – it’s just that I fear a double-standard may have been established with the title of this article. How would the RPS readership have responded to an equally innocuous (dare I say harmless?) joke about rape or transgender? I suspect the white knights would have been out in force had there been even the slightest smidgeon of a hint of a chance that a woman, any woman, somewhere in existence, had potentially been mildly irked by something posted on this site.

            Even a jocular suggestion that something is more powerful than “God” could be considered divisive and exclusionary on a site where (presumably) all creeds, colours and genders are represented – even if only passively as non-posting readers.

            To summarise: If the reaction to viking123′s post is ‘acceptable criticism’, everything and anything else must be considered fair game. If this is not the case, where exactly is the line drawn?

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          Llewyn says:

          So ridicule/abuse/bullying/trolling is perfectly acceptable behaviour so long as the recipient should be able to predict that it’s going to happen? The responsibility for any abuse lies solely with the victim? Isn’t that the sort of rhetoric we’d prefer to avoid around here?

          And if you read his original comment he’s quite clearly not trying to debate theology.

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            JamesTheNumberless says:

            My point is simply that he made himself an easy target for criticism. However, he is really not a victim. No abuse has taken place, just a level of criticism he didn’t like.

            His original comment could have made a point without being composed of religiously charged language that only makes sense within a very specific context. You can agree completely with his beliefs and still think it was a silly thing to say. Receiving criticism doesn’t make you a victim and if it did, then one would really be better off not expressing extremely strong points of view on the internet (as his original comment does.)

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            Llewyn says:

            I didn’t notice anything I’d dignify with ‘criticism’, only ridicule and trolling. And I see you’re still putting the responsibility for that on him rather than on those who replied to him, which I think is pathetic.

            Note the difference there: I’m criticising your actions, not ridiculing your beliefs.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            He seemed pretty well equipped with a full tank of vitriol and more than willing to use it beginning from his very first post, and i’d dare say most of what happened came with some people realizing it before hand.

            I stepped in late and it already was a complete mess, a predictable one if i may. Am i proud? I am not, but as far as our behaviour wasn’t necessarily in line with RPS’s atmosphere, i like to think we acted upon something even worse.

          • hungrycookpot says:

            In all my days on the internet, I’ve learned that if you start preaching about GOD in broken english to an audience that is not and clearly would not be receptive, ie. not a religious website, you will get negative feedback. This goes doubly so when you’re reacting to the word God in a harmless joke.

            Good or bad, this is just the way things work. I would think that someone with terrible english and a fixation on GOD would have figured this out by now, and if he hasn’t, he will.

        • Bull0 says:

          Mmmm that’s good sweeping generalization

      • MobileAssaultDuck says:

        You have to remember, to a non-believer god and leprechauns sit on equal footing.

        If you expressed a fervent belief in leprechauns and also expressed that people have to watch what they say about them, people would mock you.

        Now, since leprechauns and, say, Jehovah, have an equal possibility of existence (that being astronomically low) it would be intellectually dishonest of me to show more respect for believing in one than believing in the other.

        We, as a society, have to stop elevating some mythological entities above others. They’re all on equal footing, from Santa Claus to Krishna, they’re all equally unlikely.

        Unless you show Santa the same respect you reserve for someone’s god, you’re engaging in a double standard and that is something I attempt to avoid.

        Dragons, gods, super mario, same footing, same respect.

        • The Random One says:

          If you’re starting from the assumption that God is (probably) not real, what do the chances that a fictitious entity are real have to do with how you should treat it? Chtulhu isn’t real, but announce you’re making a book in which Chtulhu is a hunky teenage kid out to hook up with a lady and a lot of people will be angry at you. Do the same thing to Chad’s Canadian girlfriend, and no non-Chad people will be angry with you, even though the two are equally real (i.e. not at all).

          God is central to the most influential literary work of the last few millenia. Give him more respect than you would Chtulhu.

    • Bull0 says:

      The title clearly wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

  4. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    Well, credit when credit is due, i guess, at least this particular portion is top notch, and it’s a big one.

    I still need to see how this new emotion system will pan out and if it’ll make the “adventure” fresh enough. I’m hoping for some decent complexity and hopefully no stupid limitations.

    I like the Sims, but sometimes i wish they’d make two different modes instead of a limited sandbox. You still have to work for credits and perks even in the latter, you can’t just start with the characters and money you want, effectively limiting the role play factor and sandboxiness, but then again if you play it as an adventure you simply have too much freedom to fuck everything up.

    They should go with a 100% sandbox mode, with virtually no limitations and a 100% SP adventure, with harder relationships, career, moneymaking and less control over the entire neighbour.

    • SaintShion says:

      I don’t mind the way the sandbox nature has elements of SP type game and what not, but I totally want something like a challenge mode, where you start with one character and have to become X or make a dynasty of athletes or something awesome. It’d be like the old SimCity games where you took an already existing city and had to accomplish something, whether it was bringing it out of debt, or saving it from crippling disasters, or as simple as don’t lose until X date. Those were a lot of fun.

      That and modding of those challenges for player created challenges. Players come up with way better random crap to do then Devs usually =)

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Aye, that’d be great. Some hardcore fans are already doing a lot of these things by themselves, but actual in game support ( and rewards? ) for it would be a nice thing.

        Also, some story progression mods are already doing a far better job than the vanilla system, here’s hoping this portion is improved aswell.

  5. Premium User Badge

    AngelTear says:

    The bit at 0:48 where he pulls her breast and bottom to “adjust” them is a tad creepy.

    • Terragot says:

      Yes, because no one ever accentuates those body parts.

    • Orija says:

      Yes, because all women have the same breasts.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Bigger. BIGGER!

      Oh to be 14 again and turn The Sims into a Cruel Intentions simulator.

    • Pich says:

      I fail to see the creepiness.

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        Jonfon says:

        The bit where the cursor goosed her and her arse grew bigger in retaliation was a bit weird. But I assume you can drop the virtual hand on the menfolk too and make yourself a Linford Christie if you’d like.

        Virtual Mouse fondling for all!

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      RedViv says:

      Yeah, that’s a bit where the tactility becomes slightly rude. But at least ya seem to be able to grab everything on everyone.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Well, i guess if they wanted to make some actually useful and powerful tactile tools, they managed.

        I like to simply see it that way really.

      • Josh W says:

        “Everyone” is another point actually, making your friends in the game by carefully sculpting their virtual bodies by hand? Not sure I’d be comfortable doing that. Wonder if I’ve got a new insight into how clay sculptors feel.

    • JFS says:

      Well, she’s active and fit, but she’s always been a woman with curves (uhh-huuh wink wink)… and I guess that explains her narrower-than-Barbie waist. But yeah. Woman with curves.

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      Jackablade says:

      I await the mod that removes the maximum size limitation being released less than a day after the game hits the stores.

      • PsychoWedge says:

        You fool, the mod will be out a couple of hours after the game is illegally available, thus at least a week before it hits the stores! xD

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    Cinek says:

    Seems like the opposite of Dark Souls 2 – which had the most user-unfriendly character creation system in a history of gaming… or at least: was very close to that. Here every child and his grandmother would be able to create a character that doesn’t look uglyfuck.

    • Nevard says:

      If you’re not intentionally creating several generations of abominations I think you’re missing the point of including a character creation system

      • Premium User Badge

        Cinek says:

        And that point is what else than creating a character according to you? Cause DS2 fails that miserably.

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      RedViv says:

      Oh, a person who never played Oblivion!
      Which, incidentally, was also based on the FaceGen modeller, which appears to work really rubbishly with ingame sliders in general.

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        IaIaFhtagn says:

        I found the char generation in Oblivion was really good at creating Bretons that looked like Jamie Oliver.

        Although that may be more of a comment on Jamie Oliver’s face.

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          RedViv says:

          Bloody half-fairies!

          It also was spectacularly good at making the people in the Innsmouth-y quest very, well, Innsmouth-y. Then again, that might also have hinted at bloody fishmen having taken over most of Cyrodiil already.

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            IaIaFhtagn says:

            Oblivion would have been a vastly superior game if they’d made it entirely Lovecraftian horror. Certainly better than the fairly tame Daedric plane they dropped you in.

            “Well, the decor of red with red accents could use a little work, and it’s a tad heavy on spikes for H&S to sign off on it, but it’s mostly more impractical than actually -scary-, I think.”

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            RedViv says:

            Apocrypha in the Dragonborn expansion was pretty much the only realm that did not disappoint.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            “Apocrypha in the Dragonborn expansion was pretty much the only realm that did not disappoint.”

            *spits milk all over the screen*

            Excuse me? Shivering. Isles.

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        Cinek says:

        Actually – I got well over 90 hours in Oblivion. It doesn’t even come close to the awfulness of DS2. In Oblivion you at least got few sliders visible on a screen at the same time.

  7. Numerical says:

    I want to see a software suite that’s like this and allows me to create animated sketches and shows. Something where I can control the situation, animation and then do voice-overs of my own.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      It’s a lot less hassle to just use real people for that. But can’t you already do this to a certain extent with the Sims? just record situations, cut/edit them together and put a soundtrack on it.

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      Harlander says:

      You’d probably want to start with something like Poser or DAZ Studio and proceed from there

    • Koozer says:

      Like The Movies? It was an amazing building game/filmmaker thing.

  8. satan says:

    I’d just like to take this opportunity to say… I really want to play a SimAnt remake.

  9. internisus says:

    I haven’t actually played a Sims game since the first one. I’d really like to, but knowing that there will be two dozen $15 expansions without which I’ll have a less fully featured game is a huge deterrent for me.

    • Mctittles says:

      Having played both Sims 1 and Sims 2 I’d say Sims 2 is a much more feature packed game even without the expansions. You just have to convince yourself that you don’t need the extra stuff (hard to do I know). Community downloads and mods add MUCH more content and at a higher quality than official stuff too.

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    JamesTheNumberless says:

    Can you STILL not make people of different heights??

    Also, this video needs a NSFW tag for Russians.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Also, everyone still seems to have an identical range of cartoonish facial expressions. how many people do you know in real life who smile exactly the same way, or even look the same when they’re happy/sad/etc? Something isn’t quite right when you can walk down the street for 2 minutes and see more human morphological variation than you do in a 5 minute video about a tool that’s supposed to let you use your imagination to populate a fantasy world.

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        RedViv says:

        At least they have different move cycles now. Height is a bit of an issue due to model fitting and animation, far more so than any sort of horizontal deviation.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          I understand why it’s a tall order technically, I just would have thought it brought much more to the game than being able to sculpt asses and boobs.

  11. Detocroix says:

    Online only mode where other players form the neighborhood and you spend all day long trying to evade their horrible creations.

    • Kadayi says:

      They already stated before that it was a single player game.

  12. Drumclem says:

    Mrs. O’Connor isn’t covering this story? I find that surprising.

    She’s probably been sequestered away in some fashion, because I remember her ENJOYING character creators.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Is she the one who covered that Korean MMO, Black Desert or something?

      If so, she might be well justified, that thing is beyond impressive.

  13. HiFiHair says:

    With each iteration it feels less easy to shrug off the image-obsessed consumerist subtext of The Sims and forgive it as the practical necessity of abstracted mechanics. The franchise has fast become an unwitting commentary on Maxis’ vision of society rather than a tool for us to meaningfully reflect our individual values.

    • HiFiHair says:

      I feel there’s a remarkable halfway house between The Sims and Cart Life, as yet unrealised. A sort of soap opera roguelike. Where characters come pre-rolled and where you have to help a family thrive in the face of arbitrary adversity, making the most of the means available. And what an effective social commentary that could be if random events were accurate reflections of real world hardship, like unexpected medical conditions or succumbing to addiction or being a victim of prejudice. Y’know, like you’d expect from any popular soap opera of the past 50 years.

  14. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I’ll be satisfied when you can turn symmetric editing off. I want to create assymetric, Two-Face-esque monstrosities trying to find love in the superficial society of their chosen simulated neigbourhood.

    Also: Holy shit, finally email notification for replies? When did RPS update their comment system?

  15. cpy says:

    1 word: asymmetry. Without face asymmetry faces will still look like barbie dolls.

    • The Random One says:

      Or, at most, Cabbage Patch dolls.

    • Kadayi says:

      Asymmetry would be nice but I don’t think that the games creators are necessarily aiming for realism to that degree. Ultimately Sims is cartoonish by choice.

  16. kaffis says:

    Disaster-ridden shenanigans? Is that what we’re calling Origin and EA’s online servers, these days?

  17. buzzmong says:

    I don’t see why these most studios don’t just purchase a licence for CCP’s (of EvE Online) character creator, it’s bloody good.

  18. Octuplex says:

    Am I the only one who is sick to absolute death of simlish?

  19. emmarocks55 says:

    The article was about the new Sim creator and y’all are arguing about the damn TITLE?? GREAT JOB EVERYONE :)