Players' anger with The Sims 4 has been slowly bubbling over this past year. With the broken release of My Wedding Stories and now the several game issues brought on by updates coinciding with High School Years' release, the game has descended into a shambles -- unplayable to many. The outcry for The Sims Team to do better has gotten louder, making it the perfect time for a contender to step up. Indie title, Paralives is this contender, although many think the project was abandoned or isn't worth their time. This is because rather than over-hyping the game, the developer has been quietly hard at work, making a lot of progress.
Paralives isn't being made by a big studio with a plethora of resources and marketing. It's being developed by a nine-person team, started by Sims fan Alex Massé, whose sole focus is this game. It made a big splash when it was first announced a couple of years ago, and while it seems like it died out, it's actually still going strong with a lot of community support. The game is only in its third year of development -- not long for any game, especially a massive life simulator. There is still a ways to go, but it's looking very promising.
The Paralives website has gotten bigger and now includes not just the latest news, but a roadmap with all the features planned for the full release, and it's extensive. As for what's done, most of the game's core systems are in place and working. This includes the Paramaker, the equivalent of Create A Sim, Build Mode, Live Mode, and Modding Tools combined. Yes, Paralives will include built-in modding tools to make it easy to get creative and share with others. This alone has the potential to make Paralives a more imaginative game than The Sims 4.
The developer is looking to really expand what's been done so far and add things people have always wanted to see in The Sims. The roadmap includes new things like secrets, clothing variants, customizable layered hair, stackable objects, object variants, detailed interactions, and more. Even the beloved color wheel and patterns from The Sims 3 are being included. There are plans to implement things like weather, seasons, and pets at launch -- things Sims fans have long wished to be in the games themselves, rather than being sold in expansions. Some finished features have videos showcasing how they work, and many of the tools appear to operate smoothly and intuitively.
Throughout development, the Paralives team has been transparent with what it's working on and what's coming. It even has a community Discord, wherein the team interacts with life sim fans to see what they want in the game. Paralives is a labor of love as its developers and community are all long-time Sims fans, and this combined with the work being put in is what makes it a possible contender with The Sims franchise. There is still a long way to go, and if the current state of The Sims 4 doesn't change, Paralives may just become the next City Skylines, the game that dethroned SimCity.