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The SIMS 3’s Techniques for Unique Characters and Living Neighborhoods in Real-Time

Alex J. Champandard on March 28, 2010

The third installment of THE SIMS redefined the franchise by going beyond a single home and creating an entire living neighborhood. The designers on the game were also keen to emphasize each Sim as a "unique snowflake" with their own traits and personality. The benefits — emergent drama and better story progression — obviously create a huge challenge for the engine...

Richard Evans, Lead AI Programmer at Electronic Arts on the project, gave presentations at both AIIDE and GDC about the AI technology that makes all of this possible at real-time rates on modern PCs. The rest of this article contains highlights and insights from his presentations, as well as an analysis of the changes necessary for this installment.