The Sims in Multiplayer?
The very idea of a multiplayer version of The Sims 4 is something that heats us all up! For many years rumors have circled around the community that the developers of the game are secretly working on an online version, a next generation Sims game that will sweep us all off our feet!
Well, that’s somewhat true for The Sims 5, although we aren’t 100% sure if we’re talking about multiplayer. That game is certainly in development and the creators have hinted more than enough times that it will be something with more “social interactions”. They have also mention “crossplay”, so assuming that The Sims 5 will be an online multiplayer game, wouldn’t be far off the trail.
Yet, the closest thing that we’ve had from them is The Sims Online game from back in 2002. The rest is just mods by gamers who go to unimaginable lengths to create a stable multiplayer extension, so Simmers around the world can join and play together.
The Sims 4 Multiplayer Mods from the Past
Many multiplayer mods have come and gone, each with its own flavor and features that were both great and “meh”. But, they were all bound to crumble and disappear because they were made and maintained by a third-party, aka the players (usually just one or two).
And how could they not? With every little update they faced a big block of work, redoing their mods so they could fit into the new game. By now, with all the packs, the number of those updates is countless and we can’t expect one person to sacrifice their life in order to keep bringing us what should have honestly been included in the base game, right?
While sooner or later all the multiplayer mods just stop working, the Simmers who have enjoyed the online experience while it lasted – they have all generally loved it! It is something that the players have wished for many years to be implemented into the game, but for some reason, it never was!
The Difficulty of The Sims 4 Multiplayer
It’s true that The Sims 4 is, at its core, a single player game. There are a lot of difficult and complex decisions that needs to be made when designing an online extension for The Sims 4. Let’s consider some of them:
In the regular game, you opt into the Build mode whenever you want and you add or remove things by your wish. In other words, you dramatically influence the world in a matter of seconds. Now, imagine doing that with a bunch of players. You or they will transform the environment constantly to each other’s liking, so you won’t be able to recognize anything anymore! Or should the build mode just be disabled?
In The Sims 4 you also dictate the flow of time. When you are bored of certain actions, you speed up until the moment that action is done, so you can continue with the next. We can’t expect to have the same power in an online game. Because, if you’re doing something with another player and want to skip it, but that other player does not – what will happen? And should that time speeding be removed as well, or should it be limited to only when you aren’t doing anything connected with another player? But then you will excel your traits and become better than them if you play solo. So, it’s tough to say.
When you want to do an action in The Sims 4, you just select one of the bubbles and then you see that action being performed a second later. Well, if you want to WooHoo with another player, for example, will they have the freedom to refuse it or will the two Sims just go off to bed like in the regular game? The same could be asked for every particular action. In order for the simming to be successful, it would take agreement from two or more players for literally everything! But, will you just click “accept” every few seconds for every different action?
Every online multiplayer game has its form of communication, generally a chat. The chat can be placed in the corner of the screen or appear as bubbles next to the characters, but the idea is the same: to communicate with the other people.
But The Sims 4 uses an untranslatable language! If you could type to another player what to do, it defeats the purpose of many action options and that language. And without it the game would lose a lot of its history. While these are just some of the difficulties every multiplayer mod faces, they are certainly not all. But, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be solved!
What Could the Multiplayer Look Like in The Sims 5?
If EA do release The Sims 5 game as multiplayer, here is how we think it could look like:
- MMO RPG Style – It would be fair if everyone could start at the same level. Everyone will create a Sim, have equal money to buy household items and work their way to a luxurious lifestyle.
- Open World – The world will be open for traveling, but it will not belong to you nor any other player. There will be limitations for how much you can influence and transform that world, maybe only your household.
- Narrowed Actions – We can’t imagine that every action from the past game will find its place here. Instead, the choice would be narrowed to more social actions that you could do with other players, and only the essential ones from the single player mode to prevail.
But honestly, the game could look nothing like that! The developers can revolutionize the whole idea and find completely new way to create an online Sims game.
We’ll just have to wait and see what the next few years will bring.