A Simmer who goes by the name GiuliettaSims has released a brand new blog post over at their Tumblr account that explains their time at EA Play and also shares some really interesting information about The Sims 4 Island Living.
You can read the blog post down below:
EA Play 2019
Yesterday I attended EA Play to play The Sims 4 Island Paradise, and decided to share my thoughts and experience at event (no pictures of gameplay, unfortunately).
Disclaimer: I had only 15 minutes to play the game and may be 10 minutes to chat with developers, therefore there could be some things that I either misunderstood or didn’t have enough time to explore and make better conclusion. Game changers had around 2 hours to play the game in a normal room and take good quality screenshots and footage. Tomorrow when embargo will be lifted they will share more info. As for now I just want to share my experience, thoughts and emotions.
Event took place in Los Angeles in Hollywood Palladium. When you google “Hollywood Palladium” you can see pictures of a regular concert venue with the roof. There were zero mentions on EA Play website that event will take place in an open space under the heating sun, and no suggestion to bring hats and sunscreen. Thank’s EA. Now I look like this sim with the difference that I am skinnier, have brown hair and I am a girl.
We had to drive for 2.5 hours, so I woke up around 7 to get prepared, check if I have an ID, small bag and other stuff. My appointment was at 12:30-1:30 PM, and on the website they stated that people should arrive 1 hour prior an appointment. We arrived in LA around 11, parked the car and by 11:30 I was already in the line where EA Play crew placed me. It was a huge line that was “hugging” 2 corners of the block. Huge, ginormous. Later I learned that all those people came around 10 am, and entered the venue around 2:30-3 PM. I decided to check with another crew member whether I should really stand in that line, and was told that oh no, it’s a wrong one, and that I should go in priority tiny for people with booked gameplay session. I double checked after event that there were 2 types of priority tickets: one of them was with booked gameplay session, and another one without booked time slot but booked for specific day. Tickets with appointments had a priority over the other priority tickets, but in fact there was just one line for both of us, and crew didn’t want neither to listen, not to respond. One of the guys was rolling his eyes and doing “talk to the hand” thing. Other crew was herding us like sheep. At some point when I started burning under the sun I was about to leave. But line started moving. The reason why it was so slow was due to capacity restrictions. At some point venue was full, and no one was allowed to enter unless other people leave. 2 people left, 2 people entered. Even crew who was working outside was not allowed enter the venue to use a restroom unless someone leaves the territory. I spoke to people from a general admission line, and asked what games did they come to play, and many people answered, “Games? What games? I came to meet and greet youtubers”. Wait? Isn’t it a gaming event? I get that EA decided to attract more potential customers by inviting influencers, but I thought that the main goal of this event is to let people play the games and later purchase them. A huge part of that crowd was interested only in selfies with youtubers.
Here is a priority line, around 100 people, and the view on Hollywood Hills.
I left my husband in that line and went to buy a sunscreen. That’s why I am not completely burnt today, just a half, and have a low-grade fever because of the heat stroke. EA, thanks again for not mentioning that Sorry for a long intro, but I had to get it out of my chest.
By the way, feel free to check my instgram stories, I saved 5 stories from EA Play 2019 so you can take a look what it looked like. My instagram is Giulietta_Sims.
2:20 PM WE ARE INSIDE!!! My inner child is singing and jumping, and forgot about 3 hour of wait. I am walking, no I am running to The Sims 4 booth. At the entrance I see an installation with theme of the pack. Really cute.
Spotted a few game changers including Iron_Seagull. Found an employee who was scanning bracelets before the booth entrance. There was just one man waiting in priority line, and around 15 people in a general admission line. At that point I was 2 hours late for my appointment despite of coming 1 hour prior as it was advised in instructions, but the guy who scanned a bracelet assured me that it is totally fine since it is not my fault. Finally, second in line to play the game. And then before getting placed another employee scanned my bracelet and “informed” me that I am late to my appointment. Are you kidding me? Gathering all of my patience and putting my best smile on I explained what was going on, and she told that “ah, okay, I will place you then”. Thank you! Closer to 3 PM I was at computer, and before playing asked if we are allowed to take pictures. Unfortunately, filming or taking screenshots were forbidden because of the leaks happened earlier. Bummer! Last year it was not an issue. But apparently they changed their politic after the video leak that happened a few hours earlier. Or may be EA wanted to have a better and more commercially attractive content that game changers would film. In comparison with the last year I didn’t like The Sims 4 booth at all. I was somewhere in the corner and under white tent with meshy parts. Due to a lot of light all screens had a horrible glare. Honestly, I could barely see the colors.
I want to mention separately how enlightening was to meet SimGuruChowder and another senior game engineer (or producer?) who is not a simguru. It is really inspiring to see people who are excited about what they do. I especially had a blast chatting with SimGuruChowder, who tried to answer as much as possible to my questions. I sure had more once I left the booth, but it was too late to come back. What I noticed that there were no EPs or GPs installed on computers, only base game plus new expansion pack. Therefore there was no way to check how vampires would do on the island, or whether pets can swim. Hopefully they can, and EA wanted to keep a few aces in the hole and don’t reveal everything at EA Play. Finally, a few details that I memorized after playing for 15 minutes.
- Mermaids can be made in CAS, they are in the same category as vampires. There are 4 tails, one of the tails has sort of shimmering lights. Also mermaids have a special eyes (they are shown in the trailer).
- Sim turns into a mermaid when enters the water when you give a task to swim. Sim can wade in the water without turning into a mermaid.
- Instead of hygiene mermaids need to fill hydration need. I think it gets filled when mermaid swims in the ocean. My mermaid had a few positive moodlets after swimming in the ocean.
- Some interactions will deduct points out of hydration. For example my mermaid used 30 hydration points to call a dolphin.
- Interactions with the water: sims can float, swim wherever you click, swim around (I haven’t tested this interaction), sunbathing. I am not 100% sure whether all sims can sunbathe in the ocean or only mermaids. When it’s cloudy sunbathing option won’t be selectable.
- There will be 3 types of dolphins. Sim who becomes a friend with a dolphin can give it a name.
- Sims who became friends with dolphins can feed the dolphin for §2, talk to them, ask to be squirted, splash the dolphin, pet and ask to do the trick: dance, kiss, rub a belly or play catch.
- There will be an active conservationist career that will have 2 branches: environmental manager and marine biologist.
- Conservationist will need to take care of the garbage around the island. It will be scattered along the beach line, but main tasks will be available at Mua Pel’am district. It is a nature preserve where EA placed a shipwreck, a cave and waterfall.
- There will be 3 part time jobs: diver instructor, fisherman and lifeguard.
- They revamped fitness skill, and swimming in the ocean and working as a lifeguard on the beach will affect that skill. I saw one sim who was swimming front crawl with torpedo speed when other sims were swimming a bit slower. I didn’t interact with that sim, and wonder what fitness skill did he have.
- Sims can get a sunburn. They will get uncomfortable moodlet and will show you that they don’t feel well before getting sunburned. It takes approximately 4 hours (really rough number, more of a guess) to get a sunburn. It can be prevented by using sunscreen lotion. I didn’t have to buy it separately, that interaction was available when I clicked on the floating mats on the water.
- Sims can sunbathe either naked or dressed.
- There will be 2 new traits: Child Of The Island and Child Of The Ocean. Child of the Island will enjoy living on an island, and doing activities around it including fishing. Sims with trait Child Of The Ocean will be very uncomfortable if you order them to go fishing because they are friends with all marine animals.
- New aspiration is Beach Bum. Sims with this aspiration will enjoy a simple life around the island.
- Sims will be able to dive with scuba diving gear, but only at designated places at buoys. Buoys are rabbit holes. You can order a sim to dive if you buy a scuba diving gear for §2500, take pictures of the fish under water if you buy a camera for §1000 or go spearfishing. I am not sure 100% about spearfishing, though. This is something I overheard developers talking about, but didn’t really pay attention if this interaction was available at buoy. I think there was one interaction “buy a knife §250” that I didn’t test. So, there is no active diving except snorkeling. I didn’t see how it works.
- Sims can wade in shallow or waste-dip waters. When they go out of the water they walk slower like in real life. Looks very realistic, but it may become boring after some time if you play for a mermaid who needs to swim to refill her hydration level. But I think modders will be able to speed this animation up.
- Sims leave footprints on the sand. I found it a very nice touch.
- Kids and toddlers don’t have a mermaid life state. Only teens and up. I forgot to ask if a regular sim can turn into a mermaid, or about cross-breeding between humans and mermaids, or mermaids and vampires or aliens.
- Whenever volcano erupts it throws pieces of lava on the ground. If sim touches that lava he will set on fire and may burn to death.
- Mermaids will have an interaction available if you click on fishing wooden sign. It is called “aquatic lure” which will cost some hydration points. Mermaid will blow a conch shell. First I didn’t notice anything, but then I saw some sort of sparkling lights on the water. I assume that this way mermaids call the fish.
- Sims can drown.
- Mermaids will have a special power to lure the sim, to make him/her falling in love or even drown the sim. Sim that has drown in the ocean can not resurrect. So you need to be careful. I didn’t play neither of these interactions, this information was shared by developers when I chatted after game session.
- Mermaids on the land will look like regular sims, no scales, no fins or gills.
- There will be no winter on the island, but there will be tropical storms. I don’t know if The Seasons EP needed to experience tropical storms.
- On the loading screen I saw a line “kava drink doesn’t require kava roots, but they would be helpful”. I didn’t ask if there will be a new plant, but I suspect that sims will be able either to find a plant or look or buy kava roots. Otherwise why this line would on a loading screen?
- There will be a residential lot right next to volcano.
- Sims who will live in the houses on stilts will be able to jump in the water right from pier that is attached to the house.
- Unfortunately I had some issues with jumping camera level when sim was entering the water next to the stilt house.
- Mermaids can swim really far, not only near the house. It looked like they could swim between the lots within one district, but to enter new lot I would have to go through the loading screen.
- By the end of play session in the left top corner I noticed event “island welcome wagon”. I didn’t finish it, and don’t know what it looks like. I am intrigued .
- I was really curious about how sunburn will work when noticed tan lines on the sims. SimGuruChowder was not sure how it was implemented, and I will try to ask him details about this later this week. Now this part will be more for my colleagues CC creators. My wild guess is that the game will use alpha layer diffuse texture to sort of bake sun tan onto the sim. SimGuruChowder said that there might be a chance that custom clothing won’t work. I think CAS Preset resources will need to be updated, there either will be a new tag or a buff, but most likely a tag. If clothes will need this tag, they might be able to be fixed with a batch fix. Don’t take my words as a promise for a batch fix since I am not a developer of Sims 4 Studio and can’t promise that they will have any spare time to do this.
- Pride patch will for sure break a lot of mods. Since there are changes in UI (mermaids hydration levels, and CAS) UI mods will need to be updated. Also I suspect that mermaids will use a new skeleton with tail bones instead of leg bones. Therefore Andrew’s Pose Player might break too. So if you have any important story that you are working on and rely on Pose Player, plan your update accordingly.
I think that’s it. Thank you for being with be and reading about my experience. Sorry, if there are any grammar mistakes. English is my third language, and it is reeeeaaaally late (or early :D). To sum everything up:
- For event itself I will give 1 out of 10 for no information whatsoever about that event will take place outside, for huge lines and some crew that not suppose to work with people or just anywhere. I wasted tons of time when was send by an employee to the wrong line. Comparing to last year when I booked the same time slot, and was able to enter within 15 minutes with no hassle this event was a very unpleasant experience.
- Design of The Sims 4 Booth 5 out of 10 for white tent with meshy parts, that cause a horrible glare on the screens. I am not sure whether it was done on purpose to prevent people from taking pictures of game play, or because EA didn’t care for The Sims 4 and gave them whatever spot. Comparing to them all other booths were much darker inside.
- For the chat with developers 11 out of 10. They made my day and made me forget unpleasant prior experience. It was a pleasure talking to them and seeing how passionate they are about this EP. For taking time to explain about traits, aspiration, lot traits (I didn’t memorize details, unfortunately), mermaid lure and many more. I would not be able to write down even a half without their explanation.
- Expansion pack… I will refrain from grading EP based on 15 minute play session on glaring screens. I am personally disappointed that diving is a rabbit hole, and that kids and toddlers don’t have mermaid state. But I hope that there are a lot of other cool things to do. I for sure know that I didn’t explore even a tiny bit of what was available, didn’t play careers, didn’t see the storm (there were no other EPs installed except this one) and other things. EA will lift embargo on the 11th of June, so there is just one more day when game changers will start sharing their footage, screenshots made in better conditions. One thing I can tell, that I still see that mermaid (my mermaid that I played for) entering the water, and I want to know more about her and how she lives. They got me interested.