Developer Q&A: Ryan Vaughan, Producer for The Sims Studio

We unveiled The Sims 4 at our gamescom press briefing – to give you an insider’s look, we sat down with producer Ryan Vaughn to tell us a little more about this PC favorite and what the Sims team will be doing this week here at gamescom.

Q: What is the biggest difference in The Sims 4 compared to The Sims 3?

A: It all starts with the biggest innovation in The Sims 4, the Sims themselves. Our Sims have evolved into emotionally aware beings whose every action is affected by what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Now you get to play with the mind, body and heart of the Sims.

Our second big feature is a new set of technologies we’re calling SmartSim. This has allowed us to make the most intelligent and relatable life simulation ever.

And finally, we’ve completely rebuilt our creative tools to be more intuitive, more powerful, and much more fun to play with. For the first time you reach into the world and shape your Sims by hand and build your homes room-by-room with ease.

You’re going to be able to see this in action during The Sims Live Broadcast so check it out! [Airs at 8am Pacific on Thursday, August 22 at www.TheSims.com/live]

Q: Sims have now been around for over a decade. How do you keep it interesting for (very passionate!) fans?

A: It’s funny you ask that, because it’s actually the fans that continue to drive our excitement about The Sims. It is their undying passion that energizes us, and their continued devotion that inspires us to create the kinds of games and content that we want to play. We’re constantly surfing the forums, checking in with them on Twitter via our @SimGuru accounts and looking for their feedback so that we can deliver the experiences they’re looking for. Keep it up, guys, we’re listening!

Q: So, what’s going on at SimsCamp this week? Tell us more!

A: We’ve invited top fans of The Sims from around the world to converge at SimsCamp to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at The Sims 4. In addition to being amongst the first people in the world to play with Create A Sim, they’re the first to go behind the curtain to see how all of the pieces of our game come together.

Q: What is the feature you’ve waited for the most to show off while at gamescom?

A: The Sims themselves. These are revolutionary new Sims with emotional centers that behave and react more naturally than ever before. Every one of their actions is affected by their emotional states that lead to richer, more meaningful gameplay. 

Q: How long have you been a Simmer yourself and what makes you love this franchise?

A: I started working on The Sims in 2007 when I was lucky enough to land on The Sims 2 team, but I’ve been a Simmer since the beginning. My favorite part about The Sims is that it’s a blank canvas. We give players all of these creative tools and they use them to tell their own unique stories.

For me, I love to build homes. So it actually really excites me that we’ve completely revamped our Build tool. It has all of the power that I want, but it’s tactile and flexible so that I can make great homes with ease.