New patents filed by EA imply AI technology is coming to Create-A-Sim, allowing players to upload photos to be translated into in-game characters.
New patents filed by EA hint that the future of character creation in The Sims will utilize AI-driven technology. Since its release in 2014, lots of content has been added to The Sims 4 over the years, but never anything that drastically overhauled character creation. Fans of The Sims franchise are always looking for more options when it comes to customization – the series is all about user creativity, allowing players to design characters and buildings however they like.
Sims players utilize Create-A-Sim mode to make their characters and are offered many different ways to customize them. They can adjust everything from eye and hair color to face shape and clothing to make their ideas come to life. Players use click and drag controls to change the shape of different facial features, and sliders to adjust their Sim’s weight and muscle definition. The Sims 4 has been criticized by some long-time fans of the series over the fact that their version of Create-A-Sim offers fewer features than in previous Sims games. The aforementioned click and drag style of character design is new in the fourth installment, and some feel it offers less control than the sliders of previous games and makes it harder to create Sims to the exact specifications they need.
Recent patents filed by EA indicate that changes could be coming to Create-A-Sim, SimsCommunity reports. One of the main official patents describes how players can upload one or multiple images to be translated by AI into an in-game Sim. While this is the only patent that included explicit Sims-related imagery within it when detailing how the AI would operate, SimsCommunity reports there have been other patents recently filed by EA regarding character creation that have a strong possibility of being utilized in The Sims series. One of the patents is for a technology that would allow similar AI character creation from video footage to input a full-body character into the game versus just an AI-generated face, as well as the ability to create custom animations from said footage. They’ve also patented a system that can analyze pictures or videos of animals to insert “both animal appearance and behavior into the game.”
The possibilities offered by these new patents could be revolutionary for Create-A-Sim, especially for players who enjoy recreating real people within The Sims. This isn’t the first time EA has tried integrating picture-scanning technology into The Sims franchise. The Sims 1 allowed players to upload photos that would be pasted onto their Sims’ faces, and The Sims 3 for the 3DS gave the option of utilizing the 3DS camera to transfer a player’s likeness into the game. Both of these gave mixed results when it came to creating a Sim, but these options utilized far less complex technology than what is described in the new patents.
While this is exciting news for Sims fans, it’s still unclear whether this technology could become available in The Sims 4, or if players will have to wait until the eventual release of The Sims 5 to get their hands on it. Additionally, while it does seem highly likely these patents are all Sims-related, integration into Create-A-Sim is only explicitly shown in one patent – it’s possible the other AI technologies could be for a completely different game being developed by EA. While a lot is still unknown about what these patents mean for The Sims franchise, the implications they have for the future of character creation are incredibly promising.
Next: Sims 5: What Missing Features Must Be Included At Launch
Source: SimsCommunity (1, 2)
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