"The Sims 4" promises smarter, more emotionally intelligent Sims and new ways to lock little computer people inside unescapable, unserviceable bathrooms.
As the PC's biggest selling franchise, "The Sims" is to add improved creative tools and more emotion to the series' next big entry, "The Sims 4," due on Mac and PC early in 2014.
Opening Electronic Arts' showcase presentation at the Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany on August 20, executive producer Rachel Franklin invited the audience to look forward to directing the lives of a "new generation" of Sims powered by SmartSim technology.
Two trailers were shown, demonstrating the wide appeal of "The Sims" and some of its innovations.
Houses are easier to model, Franklin explained, by placing, pushing and pulling each room in her virtual villa until it reached the optimal size.
The Sims, meanwhile, have been vested with a better understading of emotional intelligence and can even respond to interior design cues, and a new trailer showed how characters could interact with each other, feeling angry, happy, sad, and flirty throughout the course of a conversation.
Customization options mean that players can control the look and even the gait of each Sim, so that their walk matches their personality, said Franklin.
She also encouraged would-be players to see themselves as the directors of a play (though a TV drama would be just as apt): "Your ability to affect the mind, body and heart of these new Sims brings your stories to life in a way that is more personal than ever before."