If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

The Soul of The Sims

Here's a rare insight into the ways of a top-tier game designer. Don Hopkins, whose fascinating if slightly bewildering site we've linked to before, back when he was drawing back the curtain on the free version of SimCity for the One Laptop Per Child scheme, recently shared a remarkable game-history curio.

It's Will Wright's original code for The Sims.

Some of it, anyway. It may look like crazy ultra-maths if you're not fairly versed in programming, but flicking through I nevertheless get a gentle sense of the checks and balances behind One Of The Most Important Games Ever. Seems this early version of the game - then known as Dollhouse - was a little more verbose about your Sims' situations: "You smell very bad, mandatory bath" is the sort of statement we can all learn something from.

Well, yeah, it's some lines of code. But it's also a precious hint as to how Wright, a man who's had a firm hand on PC gaming's till for decades now, views his own games - where we see a puddle of wee, he sees

if (Motive[mBladder] < -97 { if (Motive[mAltertness] < 0) AlertCancel("\pYou have wet your bed";

Ooh, it's like future-poetry.

See the code, which is posted with Wright's blessing, here. Found via Waxy Links.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More News

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch