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The Sims 4 City Living Developer Interview | Lyndsay Pearson

Nov 16, 2016

By: Max Cannon

Kidzworld was lucky enough to have the opportunity to share some words with the Senior Producer of The Sims 4, Lyndsay Pearson. She was awesome enough to share some words about game development, the upcoming expansion City Living, and some advice for hopeful game developers. 

Sims hosting Sims in the new City Living Expansion Pack.Sims hosting Sims in the new City Living Expansion Pack.Courtesy of The Sims Online

Kidzworld: What is the role of a Senior Producer on a game?

  • Lyndsay: My role on The Sims 4 is to set and guide the team towards a unified vision – what is The Sims now, and what could The Sims be next year, two years from now or five years from now? After aligning on our vision for the game, I then work with my amazing producers, designers and development director partners to build really cool, unique games that give players the freedom to create life their way.

Kidzworld: What are the challenges of development for a title like The Sims?

  • Lyndsay: One of the most interesting and challenging parts of building The Sims is what a complex game it is. Almost any feature can interact with or impact another feature which makes this a spider web of a game. It’s very challenging to track all the threads of that web throughout the game. For example – when we decided to add a Singing Skill in The Sims 4 City Living we had to think about how that works with aspirations, other skills, other careers, clubs, apartments (do your neighbors care if you sing?) and so many other elements of the game!

A range of new locations and events span The Sims 4's expansion.A range of new locations and events span The Sims 4's expansion.Courtesy of The Sims Online

Kidzworld: What differentiates City Living from the base pack of The Sims 4?

  • Lyndsay: What I love most about The Sims 4 City Living is the completely different feel of being in the City. Living in an apartment is so much more alive and crazy in a sense. Your neighbors come over or keep you up at night, there’s always something happening on your street, there’s always people around or your apartment has some kind of issue to solve. The pace of your Sims’ life fundamentally changes when you move them to the city.

Kidzworld: What is next for your development team?

  • Lyndsay: We’re working on some pretty amazing things right now that I can’t talk about with specifics, and our goal is always to build really exciting and fresh experiences for our players to enjoy.

The Sims' development team is always looking onto the next project.The Sims' development team is always looking onto the next project.Courtesy of The Sims Online

Kidzworld: How did you get started in the industry? Did you attend school?

  • Lyndsay: I went to school to study computer graphics! I wanted to get into modeling and animation because I thought I’d work in movies. In my junior year of college, I attended a Game Developers Conference and realized that video games were using all the same cool tech and innovative tools as movie makers were using but YOU could play them and be immersed in a way that a movie can’t do. That was a light bulb moment for me and made me really excited to join the industry. My first job was at EA, in Quality Assurance, finding ways to break the game, and from there I moved into Production and design and haven’t left since.

Kidzworld: The games industry was typically driven by men, but in recent years some of the most prolific developers have been females - Amy Hennig, Bonnie Ross, etc - and have given hope to a new generation of potential female gamers and developers. What can we do as consumers to continue to encourage more diversity in the industry?

  • Lyndsay:The first thing I would say is support the games you’re excited about. If you see somebody doing something you’re super excited about then talk about it, tweet about it, YouTube it. We all have a lot of power to influence the conversation about the games that are out there and the games we all want to see.

Kidzworld: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring game developers?

  • Lyndsay: Whatever you are passionate about, there’s probably a way to apply it to games. I’ve worked with people who were chemists or music majors or people who started in one industry and moved into games. There are so many people that take part in building a game or [kwlink 29934]delivering a game [/kwlink]and it’s worth looking at all those roles to find something that speaks to you. Get out there and try it.

The Sims 4 City Living Trailer


Big thanks to Lyndsay for sharing her thoughts on development and the next bit of DLC to accompany The Sims 4. The Sims 4 City Living Expansion Pack is available now for Mac and PC! 

Have Your Say!

Are you a fan of The Sims? Will you be picking up The Sims 4 or City Living? Comment below!