Listen, I love legacy and or generational play—please ignore the fact that I have not made it past Gen 1 in the very many saves I have played over 8 years—and I absolutely adore the main thing that comes with that time of play; watching the genetics play out. I wanna gush about discuss that with the community today. Granted, I am only truly experienced with the pet side of the Sims 3 genetics equation currently, but they're still genetics and they still fascinate me a lot, so I personally will be focusing on them specifically and will let others more experienced with the genetics of the Sims talk about the genetics of the Sims.
Acknowledging that there are people who think that the Sims 3 genetics for pets are awful, I actually have to disagree? To me, and going of my own experience with the Sims 3 and The Red Plumbob'sComparison Videos for the Sims 2 and 4, I think they're the best in the series. I think that the reason people believe the genetics in the Sims 3 pertaining to the pets are severely lacking is that in a vanilla game with no modifications to the code when you breed your dogs or cats and they have more than one baby, one of the babies will be a fucked up clone of the other one. Which means if you bred two dogs of the same fur and body shape i.e breed and they had more than one kid one of those kids was gonna look nothing like their parents, body and fur shape wise. Everyone thought this was a bug within the game for the longest time, and I did too until earlier this year, but it turns out it's not a bug but a feature. Ah, well, this is EA, of course it is.
But after fixing that, I have to say that just sitting and playing with genetics, whether that be in CAP or in-game, has become one of my greatest joys and how I've been having fun with the game while I wait for the day where I can complete my desktop comes. But to touch on the other games it would seem as though in Sims 2 and 4 that when it comes to the pet's genetics there's a lot of Either/Or going on. Does the baby pet inherit mom or dad's exact body shape? Does the baby pet inherit mom or dad's exact coat? Does the baby pet inherit mom or dad's exact eye color? etc, etc, which in my opinion makes their genetics kind of...uninteresting? But hey, if the Sims 2 and 4 genetics for the pet side of the equation is way more in depth than I'm thinking and making it seem please scream and shout at me about how I'm incredibly wrong, I wanna have a conversation about this. Moving on to the Sims 3 and how they handle pet genetics, I love how if you breed "twin" pets, i.e same dog or cat but unrelated to each other, or purebreed pets, i.e same breed of dog or cat, you won't get an exact clone of the parents. They'll be the same breed of course, with the same body and fur shape, but the resulting offspring will have a very slightly different coat, and that absolutely delights me because of the realism of it all. Of course, I understand that that would piss some people off because of the line of thought that if you breed clones you should get an exact clone, but honestly I'm too delighted by the realism to care. Oh and crossbreeding, don't even get me started on how much I love crossbreeding the animals in Sims 3, I think it is done so, so well. I can smash together a German Shepherd and Rhodesian Ridgeback and can look at their offspring and tell if they inherited their mom's skull shape. How fucking cool is that? And I could truly go on and on about crossbreeding, how I think the game handles the inheritance of physical features and how the game does the mixing of coats and creation of new markings, so let me cut this post off here and just say that smacking together two animals with coats that you would swear up and down would clash horrifyingly only to get a surprisingly drop dead gorgeous result is one of the best feelings I ever get while simming.
So in conclusion, I think the pet genetics in the Sims 3 are handled very, very well, minus the whole "bug that is a feature" thing, and can and will write a whole ass essay on it if appropriate. But for this first post I chose to focus on the pet side of the genetics in the Sims 3 because that's what I have experience with, but I wanna hear about the Sim side of things as well, which I'm sure the rest of the community here can share their insight on. I've seen quite a few mods that remove some things, like mutations and the weird inheritable puke green hair, and mods that do a new take on the genetics for the Sim side of things, and even Nraas has an advanced genetics section. So I can only guess that the genetics for the Sims in the Sims 3 aren't done really well, or at least not to the satisfaction of the community. But hey, I've never taken a deep dive into the genetics for the Sims so I can be absolutely dead wrong, feel free to say so if I am! As a last note, I have heard that the genetics for the Sims in Sims 2 are done a lot better, so I'd like to hear about that as well.
Let the conversation commence?
Oh c'mon. There better be a point to all this stress I'm under.
I think many people tend to write of TS3 genetics as bad do to it lacking the Dominant/Resesive system that was in 2. Personally while I appreciate EA attempting such a realistic method I felt that in practice it was far to simplified and far to easy to breed my sim familys into a corner so too speak. Having generation after generation of brown haired, brown eyed children gets boring rather quickly. Also not many people seem to know that not only are eye and heir either Dom or Res, so are facial features. So for instance if you breed a sim who has dominant eyes, nose, and mouth to a sim who's are resesive most if not all of their children will have the same eyes, nose, and mouth. I found this out the hard way once when I had a couple who's facial genes were nearly the complete opposite of each other. Ended up wondering why they kept having nearly identical children.
I like that in sims 3 each child has an equal chance of possessing either parents features as it means any couple can produce a far variety of looking children. Plus the fact that children have a small chance of getting features from grandparents or other random features help creat the "illusion" of resesive genes.
As for the random mutations that can happen, I understand why some may not like them, particularly when it's an ugly collar. I personally enjoy it when it happens since it can be realistic in a way. RL genetics are very complex and diffrent combinations of genes can have unexpected results. A brown eyed and blue eyed couple having a green eyed child for example. And if a child gets a hair or eye collar I don't like I can always take them into CAS and give them a new collar of my choosing. I typically will give them a collar similar but not exact to one or both parents. I find that can be fun as over time, besides just breeding in new genetics, I can also watch as certein genes gradualy "shift". Like watching blue eyes get lighter or darker or have brown hair get slightly redder over time.
Some tips on how to improve the genetics system in the Sims 3.
1. Disable "mutations" in a _XML file (Instance: 0x71BBAFC2BB6085C7). Change whichever value you find there to 0. You'll not see any sims with randomly assigned pink eyes and/or brownish/shitty-like hair color.
2. In twallan's Story Progression+Extra module turn on Advanced Genetics and Genetic Skin Blending. It makes sure the skintone of a newly born sim is not inherited either from a mother or a father but it's a blend. For example, a child born to a white father and a black mother may be a different shade of brown.
3. Download Consort's Hair Color mod. Same as the genetic skin blending but applies to hair color.
4. Download NeuroBlazer's Random Genetics to make sure a newly born sim's face is no longer identical to a mother or a father but each slider is a blend between the two.
Example is my family. It's hard to tell if he is similar to his father or mother.