Perfect Patio Stuff From the Developer’s Eye
While we certainly enjoy the intricacies that the Sims updates have brought over the years, we rarely get a sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes and how much thought goes in to every update. In this post, the developers speak of the production of the Perfect Patio Stuff Pack from the initial sketches to more details:
The Sims 4 Perfect Patio Stuff Pack* is full of items, decorations and outfits designed to upgrade your Sim’s backyard. Really early on in the process we realized that if we wanted to do this Stuff Pack right, it meant including hot tubs – and hot tubs are no small task.
It took months of work to get them just right and assure that they’d not only be cool, but that they’d be the biggest, best hot tubs in The Sims’ history. Want to know what went into creating a hot tub for The Sims 4 Perfect Patio Stuff? We’ve pulled together a series of images to show you the transformation from whiteboard sketch to fully functional hot tub.
As with most planning, everything started off on the whiteboard. Before trying to actually model the hot tub, we needed to decide what kind to create and how the Sims’ seating arrangements would impact their movement and interactions. We decided we wanted to allow eight Sims in at a time, and the arrows on the sketches above show how those Sims would need to move in order to talk with each other, or get in and out of the hot tub.
Once we’d worked that out, we started testing to see what it might look like to have those eight Sims all sitting next to each other. It’s a good thing we did this, too, because as you can see from the image on the right if we’d tried to make the hot tub compact, we’d have ended up with Sims piling up on top of each other.
A few weeks of work later and we had the basic shape of the hot tub we wanted in the game – but some important decisions still needed to be made. How would Sims get in and out? Would they hop over the edge? Climb a ladder? Walk up stairs? We tried a few different options, as you can see above.
What about once they were in the hot tub? Sitting and staring off into space isn’t that fun, so we knew we needed to maintain the same level of emotion that Sims have when they’re outside the hot tub. We had to figure out how they’d be able to interact with each other no matter where they happened to be sitting.
Besides just chatting, we also wanted Sims to be able to do some of the other things in the hot tub that they could do outside of it. Here, you can see us testing things that made sense for Sims to do in the water (like drinking) and things that didn’t (like reading a book).
Nailing the right lighting for hot tubs was important to us, too. We wanted to make sure this looked a little different from pools, since it was really more about atmosphere. Here, we tested some different ways to allow players to light their hot tubs, and how they would look in different situations. As you can guess, at this point we were nearing the final product.