Replies: 23 (Who?), Viewed: 5876 times.
Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 11:32 AM
Story Progression Suggestion
Ok so I think one thing that is concerning people is disppearing familes/sims due to the move out of town aspect of this tool.

I am wondering if EA or a modder could come up with some kind of setting to toggle on a family to protect them from this that would remain when not playing the family?

Or failing that a neighbourhood option that prevented player generated sims from moving out of town?

It seems simple to me but I have no idea about the coding implications. Would this kind of thing be possible and do people think this would address this concern appropriately?
Advertisement
Mad Poster
#2 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 12:15 PM
I wouldn't mind sims getting married, having babies, and dieing of old age when story progression is on. But I agree with everyone that sims just dissapearing or having babies with just one parent is annoying. It's annoying because, even though it's an open neighbourhood, nobody does anything meningful. They said that it will be possible to play one family and then move to another and then come back and see what the first family has been doing. Well, you cannot do that since memories are gone, relationships are somewhat meaningless and randomly established, and sometimes they just dissapear. Basically the rest of the town population are just decorations, much like the rabbit holes. Maybe EA should just add a toggle button for each family in which you can specify what options you are allowing for those sims, like they can dissapear or not, be blessed with 7 clone kids or not, age and die off or not, but that would still be difficult because of the way they designed the behaviour of sims not currently controlled by the player. Maybe they should just differentiate between sims, playable and townies. Playables should play and behave like in Sims2 and townies as they are currently doing, and give the player the option to chose how to set their characters when they change households. Age differences doesn't seem to matter much anyway since I heard you can just age the sims independetnly with the birthday cake so it's still possible to have grandchildren as old as their grandparents, so Sims2 playstyle is still possible without it affecting the relationships and such. And I think there needs to be a way to actually see what your sim has been doing while you were not playing him, either some sort of memory system, with less records than in Sims2 as most of those were redundant, or as additional option to current moodlet system. Like maybe long term and permanent moodlets for stuff like getting married, death of relatives, birth of children. You can track their relationships in the relationship panel and their careers in the career history panel so there's no need for memories for those things.
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 5:21 PM
I didn't realize that unplayed sims have no memories. I would have thought that with story progression that it would just be natural. I like to go back into my Sims lives and see what they've been doing and who they've been doing it with. I don't even mind the memories of who they've met.
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 5:27 PM
Exactly, not only is the story progression button apparently non functional, but the regular story progression doesn't make any logical sense what so ever.

The fact that they haven't put functional stuff and things like memories in a seamless neighbourhood is yet more evidence that this game is BETA, and that they most likely stopped working on it last fall, so that they could instead ship and then incorporate these must-have functions into a future expansion, so they'd also have more time to implement properly.

And that's the bottom line. This is a beta version, pushed out EA Redwood Shores studios doors in order to save EA from bankrupcy.
Scholar
#5 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 5:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackdaisies
I didn't realize that unplayed sims have no memories.


Played sims don't have them either.

I know people here like to bash MATY, but Pescado is already working on a Story Progression fix, it was one of the first major problems identified over there.
Scholar
#6 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 7:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidheed
Ok so I think one thing that is concerning people is disppearing familes/sims due to the move out of town aspect of this tool.

I am wondering if EA or a modder could come up with some kind of setting to toggle on a family to protect them from this that would remain when not playing the family?

Or failing that a neighbourhood option that prevented player generated sims from moving out of town?

It seems simple to me but I have no idea about the coding implications. Would this kind of thing be possible and do people think this would address this concern appropriately?


This is already BUILT INTO the game. It's called Story Progression, and it is BROKEN! As you well know from all the threads that have been posted about it, and in which you have posted your "all is well, I'm tired of the nay-sayers" posts. We shouldn't have to expect a mod to fix the shoddy programming of EA.

Sarcasm is a body's natural defense against stupid.
Instructor
Original Poster
#7 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 9:15 PM
Hmm I am just wondering if it is possible to mark families to not leave the neighbourhood in anyway.

the problem is we may be in a situation where Story progression is defaulted to being on. This may be why aging still occurs with aging off. However, it may also be that it is defaulted as off. In which case these things are still happening.

But it would also be nice which ever is the case to have some method of ear marking families to NOT vanish by moving out of town. So we have some element of control etc. So that if playing a legacy you offspring do not up and leave never to be contactable again.

Which will be nice to do regardless of Story Progression. If you see what I mean. I probably am not explaining it very well. But at the moment, people's sims are vanishing and there is no fix in sight.


As for we should not have to expect... aspect. I am sorry if saying EA in the statement first made it appear I was leaving it to modders. I was wondering if it is possible. Because I am assuming people will want certain sim families to remain in the game with or without story progression.

As for the nay-sayers posts comment. Firstly, I am NOT the only person who has objected to the people who leave only barrages of negativity. I also am not practicually thrilled with people who only say positive things eiher. I accept there are problems, but I refuse to let the people who offer only negativity stop me being exicted about the game. Effectively, as we have a lot of people here in europe who need to wait, in some cases, till Friday for the game to be released in their countries it is a little off to just post negative post after negative post. And at least 2 other have posted as much in forums. So no I am not alone.
Scholar
#8 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 11:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidheed
But at the moment, people's sims are vanishing and there is no fix in sight.


There is a fix in sight. As I said, Pescado at MATY is working on it. They're vanishing due to Story Progression being broken. I think he may actually already have a fix worked out and just hasn't released it yet. I'd link the exact post but I'm not sure I'm allowed to.

Also, aging doesn't occur when aging is turned off, at least with an active family.
Scholar
#9 Old 3rd Jun 2009 at 11:57 PM
Dumb question: what's MATY and who's Pescado? I'm assuming he's one of our talented modders, but I'm pretty clueless when it comes to these things...sorry.

Beware of Elves giving wedgies.
Scholar
#10 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:25 AM
He produces a lot of fixes and really useful mods. It's somewhat controversial because he and the people on his forums can be very...blunt, and not suffering of fools lightly. This rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but the quality of the stuff (and data) produced by the site is undeniable. It's usually behavioral mods and fixes for things in your game that you didn't even realize were irritating, not high-profile stuff like pretty hairs (which may be why a lot of people aren't immediately familiar with the names), but once you start using the mods and fixes (and a few hacked items) they quickly become utterly indispensable. I speak of TS2, here, but I have no doubt we'll see the same quality of stuff for TS3 if he doesn't get bored first.
Scholar
#11 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 6:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynne
He produces a lot of fixes and really useful mods. It's somewhat controversial because he and the people on his forums can be very...blunt, and not suffering of fools lightly. This rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but the quality of the stuff (and data) produced by the site is undeniable. It's usually behavioral mods and fixes for things in your game that you didn't even realize were irritating, not high-profile stuff like pretty hairs (which may be why a lot of people aren't immediately familiar with the names), but once you start using the mods and fixes (and a few hacked items) they quickly become utterly indispensable. I speak of TS2, here, but I have no doubt we'll see the same quality of stuff for TS3 if he doesn't get bored first.


LOL, well blunt doesn't bother me, I live with someone who is blunt and occasionally find myself needing to be that way as well, and I find more fault with people who enable fools than those who don't have patience (I try not to be stupid about things, but if I have a question I ask). So I'll check it out for sure. Thanks for the help. :D

Beware of Elves giving wedgies.
Lab Assistant
#12 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 11:17 AM
Quote:
There is a fix in sight. As I said, Pescado at MATY is working on it.


Personally I find it disturbing that fans continually hack and fix what EA apparently cannot. It may be that they ironically require a lot MORE playtesting, but in my eyes, if they had playtested and fixed this thing to begin with, we wouldn't have such enormous and obvious bugs as storyprogression.
Field Researcher
#13 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 11:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by guardianpegasus
Personally I find it disturbing that fans continually hack and fix what EA apparently cannot. It may be that they ironically require a lot MORE playtesting, but in my eyes, if they had playtested and fixed this thing to begin with, we wouldn't have such enormous and obvious bugs as storyprogression.


I agree for the most part, but I kind of view it in the way of "I see my own work, and it looks alright to me." An example: You know how in school when you write term papers, they say have someone else read it because you wont be obvious to your own, sometimes glaring, mistakes? Or if you're drawing a picture and walk away only to come back later and say "Good God, this is utter CRAP!" despite it looking alright the first time?

I think the people at EA played and tested, but not so much as the fans will; people who dislike a feature will go poking at it the most, and will probably find the most problems, while someone who likes it won't notice any of the issues. I'm not completely excusing EAxis for not fully checking their program, but I can see how they'd likely overlook some of their mechanics, especially when the game seems geared, just in terms of basic layout, to AVOID changing families and playing more than one house. Why make it so complicated (and arguably hard to find) in the first place if that's really a huge aspect of gameplay and a true break-out feature?

IMO, they focused more time on making the whole game "customize everything to look the same" and "fulfill your legacy fantasy from one home-base" than anything else, and since I like it this way, it's not a huge problem for me. More than likely, they know they can just sell it to us, and people will buy it anyway--even if they won't, there's more than enough of us who take no notice of these glitches to get them by without caring about people who DO hate that Story Progression is broken; especially when they know the community will fix it for free. Or it was a simple mistake of a missing link that they forgot to go back and fix, even after testing and assuming it was alright. Either way, these things just happen -- remember the company we're talking about, here.
Field Researcher
#14 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shikonah
I agree for the most part, but I kind of view it in the way of "I see my own work, and it looks alright to me." An example: You know how in school when you write term papers, they say have someone else read it because you wont be obvious to your own, sometimes glaring, mistakes? Or if you're drawing a picture and walk away only to come back later and say "Good God, this is utter CRAP!" despite it looking alright the first time?


Software project development 101: Never test yourself. Any project leader who does that anyways seriously needs to go back to school.
Another basic: Testing can and should take as long or even longer than actual development.
Scholar
#15 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:15 PM
I'm sure they have a separate QA department, yes.

I suspect a lot of the problem is today's corporate emphasis on 'get the game out there as fast as possible, nevermind the bugs, we can patch later', which very few companies are still managing to rise above.
Field Researcher
#16 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShady
Another basic: Testing can and should take as long or even longer than actual development.


Okay...but here's the problem. They already delayed the game for almost 4 months, do you really think they were willing to go back and do it AGAIN just for the purpose of testing? Especially after the torrent of "HOW DARE THOSE BASTARDS" that arose because of it? Granted, nobody knows what they were really doing, but I'm guessing they were picking and choosing their final features -- not actually checking to see if their cut-and-paste work was seamless afterwards.

Even if they did test it, they were paying people to do it, not going on the street and picking real fans to see what it was all about. Creators' Camp was one thing, but since half their demo experiences were fiascos, I hardly think any of the input from them was taken to heart.
Field Researcher
#17 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 12:53 PM
Testing is incorporated into the development cycle.

A delay means that work that was planned could not be finished in time and is not a decision to do a little extra work or do things over again.


Thinking of features and what the game contains, game design, is the first (or second) part of the development cycle and can't be neglected. If you come up with a feature some time later, during creation, fine, make a note and proceed as planned. With an expansion-proned game like The Sims, adding content later, in a more balanced and planned way is not a problem at all. In fact I believe that Create a Style and the new CAS, along with some degree of moodlets and the trait system could have been easily developed for The Sims 2, seeing as the big new features of The Sims 3 are actually not that big.




But nevermind all that. I just think that video game development needs more seriousity and commitment to documents and contracts which would decrease the chances of delays and consequently bugs. I just hope that it's a simple experience issue, as computer games get more complex, classicaly organized developers are simply overwhelmed, hacking away and creating stuff without proper organisation which results in wasted resources and a lack of technological quality.

Of course, bugs will always be there. But to simplify: There's bugs that are acceptable and there's those that simply break the agreements in the contract between developer and customer (the publisher). A contract we don't have insight in. Bug is just not always the same as bug.
The Story Progression bug and other AI issues are such breaking, unacceptable bugs while an occassional graphical glitch or maid not showing up is not.

(Software Project Development was one of the focuses of the 5 year long school I attended until a year ago. It had nothing to do with games, though. But I see a lot of simmilarities since software is software.)


Edit: Sorry for the off-topicing but I did mention "Story Progression"... :D
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 1:10 PM
Quote:
I suspect a lot of the problem is today's corporate emphasis on 'get the game out there as fast as possible, nevermind the bugs, we can patch later', which very few companies are still managing to rise above.


Exactly. I think that's what happened to The Sims 3 in particular. EA is really struggling financially, posting huge multi-hundred million dollar losses. EA is actually at a point where it needs the Sims franchise in order to live, and without fresh funds to better their quarterly result, they would have to start shutting down and selling out many more of their studios and assets than they already have.

I honestly and truly believe development on The Sims 3 base game virtually stopped some time during fall and that they have been working to crank out a major, must-have expansion in time for christmas, and the continued survival of Electronic Arts.

No wonder they gave Will Wright full autonomy (pardon the pun) and his own think-tank - without him there would likely be no EA.

And WHERE has all of EA's money gone? Pocketed by investors and huge bonuses gives to the suits, no doubt, while the developers who sweat for these games get peanuts, comparatively speaking.

For me, EA is what is wrong with the gaming industry today. If you want an example of a well run gaming company, look at Blizzard. To a large extent owned by gamers, part-owned by developers and corporate "suits", who pay their developers well, have fair business practices towards all employees and customers, treat their customers with the utmost respect and appreciation, and most importantly of all - they would rather scrap a game and go back to the beginning, than put out something not up to par. Look at Diablo 3 for example. They scrapped years of work and started over. Now they have 3 billion in the bank, and they're pulling in a hundred million dollars a month. The only thing I would critisize Blizzard for is that they don't lower the monthly cost with such a huge overhead profit.
Test Subject
#19 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 1:45 PM
I have just bought this game and I can't even find a place where I can write my in-game story like I used to do in sims 2 - is that feature off? I don't want to upload my stories to the net - I write them for myself. I must say that I am very disappointet right now with sims 3 - and I have only played the game for 1 hour or so.
Not at all what I expected.
Field Researcher
#20 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 2:13 PM
Blizzard... uh... That's exactly what's wrong with the gaming industry today, for me... lol
I only associate negative things with it except my enjoyment of Diablo 2 and 1. The games themselves are really not good, imo... Besides, Diablo 3 . And it also started with outspoken concern about the art-style.

Valve, that's the shining bastion of quality and sanity to me. Besides their extreme and endless slowness...


EA I think of as a stable and necessary giant in an industry to further competition and I could never find any big faults in their ways until now. They really screwed up my opinion of them with The Sims 3, though. And Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 maybe... All those 3s...
Test Subject
#21 Old 21st Nov 2009 at 8:40 PM
Is there a way to get a link to this MATY and Pescado?
Top Secret Researcher
#22 Old 21st Nov 2009 at 8:43 PM
Google: Awesomemod

Cheers.

NRaas Industries: Sims 3 Mods for the Discerning Player, hosted by The Wikispaces.
Field Researcher
#24 Old 22nd Nov 2009 at 12:59 AM
I suppose this whole discussion took place before the patch that allowed you to "protect" households from moving away by switching to them once. Still, with the vanilla penalties and losses for switching it's still a pretty undesirable solution.
Back to top