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The Sims 5 gets another airing as EA shares more early development experiments

But it's still a long way off.

The Sims 5 - or Project Rene, as EA is currently calling - is still some considerable way from release, but that isn't stopping developer Maxis from showing off its early experiments exploring what this "next generation" Sims game could be - and the studio has now shared a little more as part of its latest Sims stream.

When Project Rene was officially unveiled as the followup to The Sims 4 in October last year, EA teased a game built on a foundation of "charming sims, powerful tools, and meaningful stories" that would be designed with real-time collaboration in mind (solo play is still supported) and be simultaneously playable across a range of devices, including mobile and PC.

At the time, footage was limited to some expanded creativity tools inspired by The Sims 3's Create a Style options, but Project Rene's latest airing in EA's new Behind the Sims showcase (which also had a lot to say about horses) has gone into a little more detail about what The Sims 5 might look like if Maxis' current experiments prove fruitful.

Behind The Sims: Episode 2.Watch on YouTube

First up are "new lighting technologies" that Maxis says will help it create "highly customisable spaces and let players tell emotionally resonant stories". And as for animation, Maxis is iterating on an approach it's calling "read the room", intended to let players know how Sims are feeling just by the way they behave - through their attitudes, emotions, and postures.

This minimalist approach feeds into the studio's work on socialisation, where it's experimenting with ditching the usual thought balloons and UI to see "how little we can get away with". It says it's currently leaning into "clear, playful, simple visuals" to get an idea of "how much information is too much, too little" so it can hone in on the sweet spot that works best for conveying crucual information to players.

Beans and tacos!

Elsewhere, we get a look at hair colour customisation and some neighbourhood prototypes, where Sims - or rather, Among Us-like placeholder beans - are able to roam around based on their own personal schedules and routines. All this comes together with a glimpse at the first version of Maxis' Project Rene simulation, in which Sims can be seen navigating the 3D space of their home and interacting with objects to satisfy their needs.

It's an intriguing glimpse at what The Sims 5 might ultimately be, but given how early in development it remains, it's impossible to guess how much of what we see now will make it into the final game. EA previously said it'll continue sharing updates "over the next couple of years" as development progresses, so don't expect a Project Rene release anytime soon.

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