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Gender Issues

by Katrus91

Original Post


Gender Issues

[ Edited ]
★★★ Apprentice

Since we had a non-binary character added to the game (Morgyn Ember, if you've missed it) I've come to think of a lot of the gendered things in the game. Basically, I have issues with a lot of gendered things in The Sims 4. I have suggestions to make things better and more equal.


1. Custom Gender


Let's start with the custom gender settings. It's four years since the custom gender option was added, and our world is still changing, and The Sims 4 should still be changing  with it.


First of all, I'm so, so happy that they gave us this opportunity in the first place! High five But that doesn't mean that it can't be improved.


The genders are still very binary, even though it's possible to customise them. You can only choose male or female, and the game will act completely by this choice when it comes to pronouns, body language (see paragraph 3) and some other stuff, even when the gender is customised. I wish we could choose the gender completely, that the sims didn't have genders from the beginning and all of them were referred to by the pronoun "they" (I don't know how that would work in other languages, but I bet they can figure it out in one way or another, at least there'll be no problem in my native language Swedish Thumbs up), but that may be too much to wish for... Another solution could be to have three gender options, i.e. a male symbol, a ring symbol (not the trans symbol for gods sake, that symbol is not neutral, a ring symbol will do just fine), and a female symbol, to choose from. Then the gender could be customised from there.


When it comes to the alternatives to customise gender we have another  big issue today. I mean, what's up with ONLY having the options to prefer male or to prefer female clothing? There should be three options, where the third should be "no preference".


Also, facial hair. Everybody should have the opportunity to rock a beard, no matter their body. There are real cis-women with facial hair, just sayin'.



2. Clothes Still Look Bonkers


It's four years since they added the opportunity for any sim to wear any clothes, no matter their gender, and there are still male clothes that look bonkers on female sims, and vice versa.


Female sim wearing a male shirt? The tatas get sharp edges from the side. Also, the shadows look weird from the front.





Male sim wearing female high-waisted bottoms? The bottoms become low-waisted.





And some non-high-waisted female bottoms become ridiculously low-waisted on male sims with female frame, or just looks weird (here is a female sim, a male sim, and a male sim with female frame).





By the way, matching male and female tops and bottoms makes everything even more bonkers. This is a female sim (no custom gender settings) with male top and female bottom. (I know, this is not very fashionable, these are just examples.)




Another thing is that in custom gender there should totally be an option if you want your sim to have breast tissue or not, no matter their gender, and because of this the shadows on the shirts should look accordingly to the sims' full or flat chest. Also, all sims, no matter their gender, should wear high-waisted bottoms as high-waisted bottoms, because high-waisted bottoms are high-waisted bottoms even if you are male.


Then we have missing items. I've noticed some items that are missing for male sims even when you don't have the male clothing preference. Here are the ones I could find right now. The armband is even from Realm of Magic, so it's a completely new item.




3. Body Language


Female and male sims have different body languages. This is most prominent in CAS (take a look at the pictures above and you'll see that the female sim is leaning to the side while the male sim is standing straight) and with the flirty and very flirty emotions.


I think that either all sims should have the same body language, that means all of today's body language motions, or that it should be an option to choose if a sim should use female, male or all body language motions.


When it comes to the difference in female and male flirty emotions, the male pictures just have to be removed. They look so damn creepy. They look like those kinds of dudes that don't know what "No." means. These pictures are also very stereotypical. Male and female sims look like predator and prey, respectively. I think all sims should have the same pictures when they're flirty, I don't care if it'll be all sims having the female pictures (even though the "very flirty" female picture looks a bit odd) or if they should change the pictures all together, but the male pictures have to go, they are just creepy. Also, the "flirty" (i.e. not "very flirty") female picture is pretty cute, I wouldn't mind my male sims looking cute when they're flirty or in love.





4. Alien Pregnancy


Male sims can get pregnant by getting abducted, this isn't possible to female sims. Why can male sims get pregnant from this? [CM Removed]


I think the option to get pregnant by abduction should still be there, but it should be a choice. It should be made possible to choose in CAS if you want your sims to be able to become pregnant by aliens. This option could also be about getting pregnant by any aliens, not only when being abducted.



That's all I can think of off the top of my head.



[CM Edit: I removed some of your feedback text. While I understand it was posted in good faith, these boards are family-friendly and certain words are filtered for this reason. Thanks for your understanding!]


Edit: Sorry for the inconvenience about my choice of words. Anyway, now it sounds like I'm asking a question to all of you, while it was meant to be a rhetorical question that I answered myself. So, what I wanted to say was that it feels like a bit old-fashioned (like 15 years ago, as in when The Sims 2 was new) "humour" to have game-play where a man is forced into pregnancy. But, I don't think the opportunity should be taken away, because it's already there, but instead it should be a choice in CAS.

Message 1 of 7 (740 Views)

Re: Gender Issues

★★★★ Novice
@Katrus91 Well said! 👏 Adding a third gender option with they/them pronouns would be so good!
Message 2 of 7 (605 Views)

Re: Gender Issues

★★★★ Novice

I understand where you're coming from, and the male/female clothes deformation looks bad, but it has its reasons. I hope I can explain this right...


To make a 3d game, characters are sculpted, rigged, and animated.


Now.. the male and female are two different meshes, especially around the chest area meaning different polygon/vertices placement. 


These meshes are rigged, meaning a skeleton is made for them in which the mesh is "skinned" to the joints, meaning the vertices follow the joint for a certain percentage.


The clothes are made in a similar fashion, for the original mesh, so male or female, thus follow a similar topology on the mesh, which is skinned to follow the same joints.


Not only that, but they added shading to the textures of these meshes to create depth for female breasts. 


By allowing male sims to wear female clothes and visa versa, what happens is that the skin information, so the vertices that follow the joints, do not match with the original topology, which then creates the catastrophe that you behold in the pictures. This effect is increased by the faux shading in the textures. 


To fix this, EA would have to:

- create new meshes that share the same topology. <- meaning you get a very basic human shape that looks neither male nor female.

- create new textures that don't have faux shading in them. <- meaning you get very basic/flat looking sims and sim clothes, OR require a 4000$ computer because of all the rendering involved now that the depth/shade has to come from a light-source in the game to bounce of the vertices in the mesh. Either way the game will be worse for it. 

- rig these new meshes and recreate CAS. <- this is the most time consuming of everything. 

- develop new customization in CAS. <- because the male and female "shape" is gone, they would have to be made by us, the players, in  CAS, meaning we get to decide the shape of the muscle mass and fat mass! That is insane, the majority of humans don't even know how these shapes come to pass in our bodies and what affects it, we're talking genetics here and an advanced artistic understanding of the human body. Long story short you're going to see Frankenstein creations like never before, not to mention this will all conflict with the animation resulting in clipping.(clipping is when two meshes go through each other) 

- recreate all the clothes to fit this new mesh. 


And this depends on what engine they use, but if they made it old school that means each rig has its own animations, meaning the male animations cannot be transferred to the female rig and visa versa, so they would have to create those animations twice. 


Simply put, these are core game mechanics, meaning the game is built on the design of having male and female sims and nothing in between. They probably didn't anticipate their player-base to want non-binary characters, so they did what they could to please-the-crowd when it turned out they did, resulting in well.. The awful looking abomination that is the skin weight transfer between the two rigs.


So it will not be fixed. Maybe Sims 5? But not Sims 4, they're not going to do all of the above, or recreate 5 years worth of clothing articles for the opposite sex. (we're talking sculpt, uv, texture, skin weights)

Message 3 of 7 (153 Views)

Re: Gender Issues

★★★ Apprentice
@RaichiSims Yeah, I know that the female and male bodies are very different in how they're built, and the clothes are made to match one of the two body types. But the thing is that they COULD make every item in two versions. It would be time-consuming, but I think EA focus too much on quantity (making new packs) rather than quality (in this case making the CAS items looking good on any sim, which also means more items, but better looking items), so we get pack after pack with new clothes, but everything is only made for one of the body types. It's four years since they made it possible for any sim to wear any clothes (except for those missing items I've mentioned above), they have released 19(!) pack since then. They could've released less packs and instead made the clothes looking good on any sim. We already know that the developers don't have enough time to make each pack, they should get more time no matter if it's for fixing the CAS items, tracking bugs, designing buildings (Gosh, the buildings in Glimmerbrook don't look good at all, and one is missing a door while another is missing a trash can) etc. Also, if the packs had high quality from the beginning more people would be prone to buy more packs (i.e. EA would get more money), while today I hear more and more people complaining about the content and saying that they won't buy the pack (i.e. EA won't get as much money as they could've gotten).

About the animations, I really hope that they have the possibility to transfer the animations from one gender-rig to the other. I think it may be possible since most animations are actually the same for male and female sims, for example when eating or doing other everyday stuff. The differences in the animations are mostly seen when the sim is idling (just standing, doing nothing) or is flirty. It feels a bit wrong that only the female sims are doing these "mrawr" sounds and motions, like a cat, when the male sims can't do that animation at all. I wish any sim could do that. Also, sometimes the male sims flex their muscles when flirting, which female sims don't do, but if I remember correctly female sims can flex their muscles too, but they don't do it while flirty, they can only do it if they have a specific trait (the active trait I think). And since a lot of other animations are the same, for example in CAS there are animations for the traits, which are the same for both genders, I guess the animations could be transferred between the rigs.

Another thing is that it's really bugging me that if I choose the male body with a female frame that sim will be referred to by "he" in the game, even though I may want a "she" with a flat chest. The genders are very binary even with today's custom gender options. I think it would be better to choose body and gender separately from each other (or just refer to every sim by "they", but that would probably make people angry).
Message 4 of 7 (143 Views)

Re: Gender Issues

★★★ Apprentice

Here's another example of the problems with clothes for the other gender.


This is Bella Goth, I haven't changed anything but the clothes, I promise that I haven't changed the breast size or turned her or anything (if you don't believe me, try it yourself in the game), the only difference is her clothes. In the second picture she's wearing a male shirt. She seems to have one hell of a sports-bra getting that breast reduction. xD



Message 5 of 7 (86 Views)

Re: Gender Issues

★★★ Apprentice

And I totally forgot to post these pictures in the tread-start.


Here we have the bodies (as in the clothing type called body) from the base game (It Gets Better patch) and from Realm of Magic. Since it's bodies, not swimsuits, there's no option to not wear underwear-bottoms with them. These are one male and one female sim, no custom gender settings, they have the exact same bodies (still, the garment type) and exact same underwear. On the male sim the panties are visible. I've tried with different types of female and male underwear, there's not a single one that isn't seen when the male sim is wearing it.






Message 6 of 7 (83 Views)

Re: Gender Issues

★★★ Apprentice

Now I noticed that the walk style for famous sims look different for male and female sims. No other walk style look different for male and female sims.




Message 7 of 7 (76 Views)

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