Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Sims: the list of all licensed games

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With a first game released in 2000, The Sims license has managed to unite millions of players across four generations of games. Kings of DLCs, The Sims have become essential, entering pop culture.

The story that created The Sims

In 1989, SimCity  was revealed to the world and was a hit with gamers. He introduces the Maxis studio where a person who will interest us for the rest of the story: Will Wright. Will is a Game Designer there and has been working on the SimCity project since the beginning. However, in 1991, two short years later, a fire ravaged a large part of Oakland, a city located in California. And unfortunately for our game designer, his house will go up in smoke.

He has to rebuild a house, but even if it means building a house, as long as it is the best possible, isn’t it? That’s also what Will Wright thought to himself. As a result, he will seek to visualize his house before building it. Only, we are in 1991, and 3D plans are not as widespread as today, which will complicate the task. 

Will finds a way to see his house before it’s built: create it in a video game. We must not forget that he is a Game Designer but also a developer. In parallel with his work, he began to work on decoration and real estate creation software.

The Sims Building

In view of the progress of the project in addition to the discussions with his colleagues, Will will have the idea of ​​making this software a real game. To do this, he adds a few characters, acting as customers whose house we must decorate to earn points. But the project was rejected in 1995 by Maxis.

In 1997 things will change. Indeed, the studio will be bought by the American giant Electronic Arts , then in full strategy of expansion and diversification. The decision-makers having changed, Will proposes his project again, this time to the management of EA. And he was accepted! Accepted on a few conditions anyway, such as creating real characters that we will totally control, from sunrise to sunset, including meals and hygiene. Don’t forget the social interactions! In summary, Will must play the game of life!

The latter immediately accepts the challenge and will work on the project for three years, which for the time is not common. Indeed, the development time of games is just beginning to exceed more than a year. Will and his team will spend 3 times more time than other games of his era working on the game so that it arrives in the year 2000.

The Sims franchise is born!

What’s new in each generation of The Sims

Since the creation of the series in 2000, 4 games have followed one another, each time with a range of DLCs to expand the base game. Each of these four games has brought its share of innovations compared to its predecessor.

The first installment of The Sims quite simply invented the life simulation. Already in 2000, it was possible to create our house and decorate it, to personalize our characters, to improve their skills, to manage their social relations or even to find them a job.

The Sims 1

Four years after this first game having had a great success, in 2004, The Sims 2 arrives with its share of novelties. Among them, we find the aging of the sims going from 3 age groups to 8, the creation of aspirations (desires and fear) or the appearance of a complex family structure with links between each sim (giving a family tree ). In addition, the AI ​​has been completely revised and greatly helps sims to live independently. Indeed, if in the first game they could forget to eat or go to the toilet, the second game corrects this and gives the player time to develop new characters.

The Sims 2

In 2009, 5 years after the second generation of Sims, the third arrived, also with many new features. Among them, we can see the customization which is more and more present in the game, with Create a style giving the possibility of choosing the exact color of the furniture, clothes or hair thanks to a color chart.

The other big character change is the appearance of character traits. Indeed, each sims will have a specific character that we can choose. This gives a more immersive aspect since the characters are closer to reality.

But the biggest innovation of this opus is the open world system that arrives in the series! It is now possible to leave your house and walk around the city, interacting with passers-by if you wish and going to the beach for example. And as the open world stipulates, no loading time is carried out during the journeys, thus promoting immersion within the game.

The Sims 3

And finally, the last opus for the moment released in 2014: The Sims 4 . The latter brings… nothing special, or even worse, improvements made in the previous game disappear. Certainly, we have a simplified and very easy to use interface, the graphics are impeccable, but we have lost this open world side so appreciated from the last opus. We find the loading screens when our sims arrives at the edge of the area.

Also, when the game was released in September 2014, no toddler was identified. The latter are not present in the game and the babies go directly to the child stage. After player dissatisfaction, Toddlers will soon arrive via an update a month after release, with EA wanting to appease fans of the series. The other absence to note at the beginning is that of the ghosts, which come to haunt our characters. Even though these spectra are not essential, they bring fun to games and are much appreciated. However, the ghosts will be long in coming since they will only arrive after 3 years, i.e. in 2017!

Despite these many shortcomings in The Sims 4 , we can still notify that a big change is present in the behavior of the characters, with the arrival of emotions. This rapprochement of reality promotes immersion, and above all offers deeper gameplay, since the characters will do certain things and refuse others depending on their emotions. For example, a sad sim can go to bed, hide under the duvet and cry. And the stages of life also play on emotions, such as a birth, a death or even a marriage, after which the two lovebirds will be joyful and euphoric. 

The Sims 4

Today, we await the fifth episode of the series. More than eight years after the last installment, Electronic Arts still hasn’t presented a sequel, continuing to release ever more content for The Sims 4 . However, leaks suggest that a fifth game has been in development for a few years, but nothing official yet.

Simflouz and Simlish

The Sims series created a world of its own, logically accompanied by a game-specific currency and a language.

First, let’s see the pecuniary aspect where a monetary system is totally created. First, a name is found for the currency, a name that will change depending on the country. While the English version of the game has a currency by the name of Simoleon (coming from an expression related to money dating from the 19th century), the currency for sims in France is the Simflouz , denoted “§”.

Etymologically, the word can be broken down into two parts: Sim and Flouz . For the first part, it comes from the Sims (we will find this prefix on many words during the different games). For the second, Flouz refers to Flouze , coming from French slang, itself inspired by the word Follis designating a room in the Roman Empire.

But this is not the only change that can be noted in this regard, since the value of everyday objects is not respected in any way compared to reality, while a pizza is worth 40§, a car will only cost 4,000§. Generally the value is determined by the durability and necessity of the object than by its actual representation.

The Sims Money

If you’ve played The Sims for even a few minutes, you’ve probably heard Simlish, the language that came out of nowhere that no one understands. Well at the origin of this language, there are several explanations.

First of all, Will Wright didn’t want to use real language so the game’s audio wouldn’t be repetitive. Indeed, certain sentences would surely have looped and this would have been very redundant. However, it was necessary voices for the characters, so that they come to life. Will and his team therefore decided to create a new language.

But how to create a new language? Two members of the dubbing team, Stephen Kearin and Gerri Lawlor, set to work. Other well-known people in the linguistic world will join them to work on the project, such as language specialist Marc Gimbel. After long experiments in testing different languages ​​such as French, English, Tagalog or even Latin and Navajo (yes dead languages), the team decided to simplify the task, seeing that the mission was practically impossible. . For this, they swept away all their work by inventing a language composed of untranslatable gibberish .

A few years after the release of the first game, Will Wright has also notified that the language of nonsense was the best possible idea, initially facilitating creation and dubbing (no need to learn a text) but also saving a lot of money on dubbing different languages.

And for the little anecdote, Robi Kauker who took care of the audio aspect of the series, said that most of the calls from the after-sales service of the game concerned the language of the characters, the players thinking to have configured the game incorrectly.

One game, full of DLC

The Sims games are well known for their abundance of additional content beyond just games. From the first opus, several DLCs (7 in total) will join the catalog. If these DLCs do not upset the gameplay, they still offer new features, especially at the level of objects. For example, the first DLC is The Sims: Life Changing , and it brings with it only new items and a character dressed as a Clown, nothing new for gameplay. The Sims: and more if you like… brings some improvements to the game mechanics, namely the fact of being able to go out in town or have a date.

For the following generations, more and more DLC will join the opuses, justified by the increasingly long gaps between each generation. The Sims 2 will be entitled to 8 DLCs, The Sims 3 will get 11 and more than 12 DLCs will complete The Sims 4 .

Among the different DLC themes , we can see that some come up quite often, if not all the time. The best known is certainly the pack with the animals, generally called The Sims: Animals & Cie , or the study theme which comes up each time in different aspects: The Sims 2: Academy ; The Sims 3: University ; The Sims 4: Discover University ; The Sims 4: High School Years .

The Sims Animals

In addition to these different extension packs , which, it should be remembered, are chargeable, other types of content are also available. Mods play a vital role, for example, but are not official content. Indeed, these are created by players. The advantage of having mods in a game like The Sims is that it allows you to obtain unlimited content, and for free!

Regarding the official contents, there are also expansion kits . Offering much less content than the packs, they do not change the gameplay since they consist solely of cosmetic items. Obviously, the price is much lower since an extension kit is sold between 5€ and 20€ (compared to 40€ for an extension pack).

And with these expansion kits, Electronic Arts has managed to create different collaborations with brands or celebrities who are not from the video game sector. We can note for example the kit The Sims 2: Kit Ikea Home Design , which offered a large number of furniture from the Swedish brand, or the collaboration with the luxury brand Moschino for  The Sims 4: Moschino Kit of Objects (we forget The Sims 3 kit: Katy Perry Sweet Delights , totally decried by the players).

Les Sims Katy Perry

The list of The Sims games in Europe

The list of main The Sims games

  • Les Sims (2000) PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC
  • Les Sims 2(2004) PS2, PSP, Xbox, GameCube, DS, Game Boy Advance, PC
  • Les Sims 3 (2009) PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS, PC, Mobile
  • Les Sims 4 (2014) PS4, Xbox One, PC

The Sims Story games list

  • The Sims: Life Stories (2007) PC
  • The Sims: Pet Stories (2007) PC
  • The Sims: Castaway Tales (2008) PC

The list of MySims games

  • MySims (2007) Wii, DS, PC
  • MySims Kingdom (2008) Wii, DS
  • MySims Party (2009) Wii, DS
  • MySims Racing (2009) Wii, DS
  • MySims Agents (2009) Wii, DS
  • MySims SkyHeroes (2010) PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS

The list of other The Sims games

  • The Sims Online (2002) PC
  • Les Sims: Permis de Sortir (2003) PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance
  • Les Urbz : Les Sims in the City (2004) PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, Game Boy Advance
  • The Sims 2: Castaway (2007) PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, Mobile
  • The Sims 2: My Little Companions (2008) DS
  • The Sims Carnival (2008) Web Browser
  • Les Sims Medieval (2011) PC, Mobile
  • The Sims Social (2011) Facebook
  • The Sims Freeplay (2011) Mobile
  • Les Sims Mobile (2018) Mobile
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