The Sims

Sims 5 Wishlist: biggest request, a mixed-use lot zoning tool.

Content of the article: "Sims 5 Wishlist: biggest request, a mixed-use lot zoning tool."

I love this franchise. Like so many of you, I've been playing since I was a little kid and loaded up the original game on an old Dell tower pc with a box monitor running Windows XP.

And again like so many of you, I play the Sims 4 and realize the experience leaves so much to be desired. I cannot help but think about what my expectations would be for the next major installment in the franchise. These are the things that are most important to me that I don't already see mentioned in the community.

1. Mixed Use Lots & Sublots – This is my most important request. I will give credit to Sims 4 for improving as a building simulator from its predecessor. There are certain details, options, and capabilities which we didn't have before. We can move entire rooms and houses with ease, extend columns, apply trims and friezes, resize objects. We can even freely move windows and doors now, I mentioned that in a forum years ago and it was written off as impossible.

The next great leap that the Sims 5 needs to take is a better system for creating our own mixed use buildings.

The strictly American, suburban mindset of one building, one function actively hurts the game's direction of catering to the trends among Millennial and GenZ experiences, sustainability, a global focus, etc. I believe this is the frontier that the next game needs to journey into, if it's supposed to be ambitious enough for us to jump ship all over again.

There is no reason why we should not be able to have a ground floor shop with an upper apartment without using imperfect, community developed mods. Imagine all the possible combinations. Make it a flagship feature for the title.

1a. Zoning Tool – Have you guys played Cities Skylines? If you have, you know you can shade tiles on the grid different colors to indicate whether the space is residential, commercial, industrial, etc. The same logic could be applied within a lot in the Sims 5.

It could work exactly like our current flooring tool with a special highlight overlay. Imagine the lot details window that we currently have at the top left of the screen in build mode. Instead of picking Residential or Retail for your lot type, you have the option to pick Mixed Use. Now that generates 2 tabs for 2 initial sublots and a + sign to generate more sublot jurisdiction tabs, maybe with a maximum of 6 per lot as a hypothetical. Now going into those tabs, you have the option to pick the lot type. Sublot 1 = retail, sublots 2 and 3 = residential. And whichever tab you have selected at the time, your zoning tool will be able to mark your chosen ground for that sublot. Any tiles on the lot unmarked, the game would assume is generic community space.

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1b. Multiple Households per Lot – This feature would have no purpose if we were still limited to 8 sims per lot. The devs would need to update the interface to allow you to manage multiple, independent households within one lot, and allow us to actively only play one at a time. The rules of who can build/buy within the space could be the same as they are for apartments now, where a household can only change their own space. Major changes like the structure or exterior of the building would have to be done from build mode for the whole lot. It could be like real life where you have to move Sims out if you want to gut their apartment and totally renovate the building.

2. Open World WITHIN Neighborhoods – This was arguably the greatest loss we suffered in the transition from Sims 3 to 4. The open, seamless world of the Sims 3 was its most ambitious feature, and Sims 4 took a step back.

But I recognize that the huge worlds of Sims 3 were an unoptimized hot mess that demanded a lot of processing to keep the simulation going. Maybe we don't need an open world of 50 lots, explorable public areas, and story progressing Sims all going at once.

I actually like the neighborhoods within worlds approach. I just wish they were bigger and editable. If we could plop our own lots down or if the average neighborhood were a bit bigger, that would go a long way.

But most importantly, if we're not going to have one full open world, at least make the neighborhoods open world. I can settle for a loading screen when your Sims travel between Willow Creek and Magnolia Promenade. But suffering a loading screen just to knock on the neighbor's door is ridiculous at this point in the franchise.

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3. Basement/Foundation Windows – Smaller detail, but important for having a higher standard of realistic building. Plenty of basements in the real world have windows in the ground level foundation of the house. But foundations and basements are strictly separated in the Sims building scheme. That needs to go. The basement ceiling should be the foundation level, combine the two concepts. And if your basement goes to the edge of the foundation, it shouldn't raise up the terrain around it like it currently does in Sims 4. The terrain should stay level and you should have the option to place a window if there's enough clearance. It would make finished basements more appealing and realistic in the game.

4. Curtains & Shades Open/Closed State (Windows & Doors too??) – I love curtains and shades for decoration and detail. But why can't we open them or close them? In real life do you keep all of your blinds closed 24/7/365? Or do you enjoy some natural light in the daytime? The game should treat window shades, curtains, blinds like lighting, with an on/off open/closed state. You could argue that the same option might be worth pursuing for windows and doors. I wouldn't even need animations to be happy, just different states so you can achieve different aesthetics based on the situation.

5. Working Vehicles – I don't have much new to add here that I haven't seen plenty in the community say, but it needs to be demanded again and again regardless until we get them. I miss cars, garages and driveways in the Sims. It's part of our life and if we can have bikes, then we should have cars in a life simulation. The one point I haven't seen made is, I would even love an expansion that let you work on and customize cars and motorcycles and run a garage as a business/job. That would be something really different the Sims hasn't done before and would get them out of their "samey" content rut.

6. Better Traits, Personality, Autonomy – Sims 4 feels like playing with lifeless dolls, which is why I play it more for a building simulator now. I've never actually done anything really substantial with my Sims in this game. The traits are garbage and don't define the Sims as real individuals. There are so few of them compared to Sims 3 and the ones we do have don't impact Sims personality enough.

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Autonomy is shit. If I left my Sims to wander around on a public lot, I think I would just expect them to chat in a circle the majority of the time. Either that or literally every Sim on the lot awkwardly dances to the cafe wall speaker music. They don't do anything interesting on their own anymore. In Sims 3 I remember always expecting something interesting to happen, it was just normal with little input from myself. That's what makes it feel like playing with a dollhouse, I don't want every second to be playing god with puppets on a string, posing them for meaningless snapshot moments, pretending there's gameplay there when none exists.


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