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The Sims 5: Here's A First Look At The Upcoming Game's Neighborhoods And Animations

The Behind The Sims stream showcased several prototype scenes and offered more information regarding the game's lighting, animations, hair customization, and socialization.


Though June's Behind The Sims stream might have been focused on the The Sims 4's upcoming Horse Ranch expansion, the team surprised fans with a short segment dedicated to the next entry in The Sims franchise, Project Rene. Revealed late last year, Project Rene is EA's attempt at "renewing" of The Sims franchise and marks the series' fifth mainline entry, leading many fans to simply call it The Sims 5.

Whereas the game's initial reveal focused on highlighting concepts the team was looking to integrate into The Sims franchise--such as seamless cross-play between PC and mobile--the Behind The Sims stream showcased several prototype scenes and offered more information regarding the game's lighting, animations, hair customization, and socialization.

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In regards to lighting, the team stated it is currently working on exploring "new lighting technologies that will allow us to create highly customizable spaces and let players tell emotionally resonant stories that will look great on your computer and on your phone," but didn't confirm exactly what that entailed. However, it did share a short video depicting the game's day-and-night cycle, as well as a few images depicting interior lighting.

A prototype of the game's lighting.
A prototype of the game's lighting.

The segment was then tossed over to Nawwaf, Project Rene's animation director. According to Nawwaf, the team's vision for the game is driven by the phrase "Read the Room." Nawwaf said he wants players to know "how their sims feel and what they're thinking just by how they behave." To do this, the team is focusing on animating attitudes, emotions, and even sims's postures, with greater clarity.

Jill, a producer on Project Rene, then added to this with a short discussion regarding the game's socialization overhaul. According to Jill, the team is striving to figure out "how little can [they] get away with" in terms of thought bubbles and other items taking up screen space.

"We're really leaning into clean, playful, simple visuals that will start giving us information as to what's too much, what's too little, [and] what's working, so we can really better hone in on that sweet spot to help you better understand what your sims are actually talking about."

Shortly after, the team shared prototypes of what neighborhoods could look like in the upcoming game. Whereas previous The Sims entries have always had fairly distinct lines dividing residential and commercial spaces, the prototype scenes depict an environment where the two are more intermingled than ever, with apartments located above taco shops and corner stores, and offices atop a local dive bar.

A prototype of the game's neighborhoods.
A prototype of the game's neighborhoods.

Lastly, Project Rene producer Azure gave fans a brief look at the game's hair customization, which appears to give players greater freedom in regards to what color--or colors--a hairstyle can be. While the clip only showcased one, wavy hairstyle, the coloring tool is an exciting prospect to those who were looking for more control over highlights, lowlights, and everything in between.

Last year, EA confirmed Project Rene is still a few years out from release. However, the game has already begun playtesting, leading us to believe development is well on its way. Looking for even more information regarding The Sims 5? Here's everything we know so far.

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