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The Paralives character creation tool lets you make people with amazing and terrifying fashion sense

Look behind you, EA

Paralives Studio has given us all an early Christmas present, in the form of a look at Paralives' character creation tool. The video is pre-alpha footage and it emphasises that this is still a work in progress, but the character creator (called Paramaker, a name chosen by the game's community) looks ridiculously detailed even so.

Paralives is a life sim game that may even have the chops to topple The Sims' supremacy when it launches. This video of the character creation is the beefiest look at Paralives we've had for a while. Marvel as the Paras change musculature, fat distribution and weight before your eyes. Importantly, you can give your Paras some sick tattoos and amazing patterned jackets, because what's the point making a tiny puppet to play with if they're not well cool?

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The Paramaker shows the kind of things you'd expect from a character creator, but with great control and detail. The number of vectors you can tweak on your Para's body is high. Forget heads, shoulders, knees and toes; get read for neck, calves and bum. You can even change their posture, or customise fine details like mole size and placement, or give your Para heterochromia (that's different coloured eyes).

But my goodness, I love that you can change the pattern and colours of your Para's clothes at will. You'll be able to make absolute high fashion nightmares and immaculate stars alike. I want to do a lot of work with statement clashing. I'm not sure what it is, but I've heard it exists. Every piece of clothing on every Para will be a conflicting pattern. Pair acid pinstripes with angry check. Why not? I mean, it looks like the sort of system that you could upload custom patterns to - but I don't want to get too excited.

Important to note is that Paralives seems to be offering quite fine control of your Paras' skin tones, too, allowing you to choose the base, highlights, shadows and blush of your Para's skin from a custom colour field selector. It took The Sims 4 literal years to introduce a range of new, darker skin tones with greater customisation and colour sliders (arriving in an update around this time last year).

A para in an early version of Paralives' Paramaker character creation, having her skin tone changed and customised using a colour field selection tool

The danger is, of course, that you'll get stuck making things, like when RPG players spend three hours making their character and forget that there's a whole other game to play. We don't know much about what that actual life sim bit of Paralives will be, since most of what we've seen is the construction of a life rather than the living of it (lead developer Alex Masse told me last year that they "decided to start with build mode because it makes sense to create the environment for your characters to live in first,"). On the other hand, building was always the bit I liked most in The Sims, and players will be able to make some insane things in Paralives if/when it comes out.

Paralives' development is supported by a pretty healthy Patreon, so people are interested either way. Unfortunately there's still no whisper of a release date on the Steam page, but if you're interested in seeing more then the official YouTube has, for example, a delicious video of a house build, right down to cushion placement and size.

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