The 13th stuff pack for Sims 4, Laundry Day Stuff, is here, and it’s a pretty interesting one because of how it came about. Here’s a little bit of its backstory before we dive into the actual content of the pack. In April last year, The Sims team announced that they would be developing a new stuff pack incorporating feedback from the Simmer community, and giving us some insight into the development process for a stuff pack. The opportunity to influence what kind of pack was developed and see what goes on behind the scenes was pretty exciting. The devs even had a section of the official forum just to talk about the pack, and major updates were included in various blog posts.
The input process involved several community votes, starting with the overall theme of the pack. The choices were eco living, starter home, ‘dangerous’, wedding and arcade. While all of the themes sounded pretty interesting, eco living mentioned the possibility of laundry, a popular feature among Simmers, so it seemed pretty likely to win (which it did). A week or so later, we got the opportunity to choose between two possible art styles that would shape the pack going forward. There was a modern style (Style A) and more country one (Style B).
Style B won that round of voting. The Sims team took about a month to come up with some concept art based on the art style, and even asked the community to give them ideas via the forums, and in May we voted on objects and clothing that would be included in the pack. This vote was pretty overwhelming, with over 60 clothing items and another 60+ furniture items to choose from (if you’re curious as to what those items were, you can see them all here). From the results of the vote, 17 clothing items and about 30 furniture items were selected. The SimGurus gave some interesting insight into how items are chosen so as to avoid the pack including half a dozen similar couches or whatever.
The next big vote came in late June, where we had to choose between four possible gameplay features to be included in the stuff pack – a short list from a list of dozens of possibilities the team came up with. The options were Laundry, Off the Grid, Food Preserves, Carbon Conscious. Again, laundry was the clear winner, even though a few of us were left wondering where that fits into the whole ‘eco’ thing, but the community had spoken. We were getting a laundry themed pack. The team got to work on the laundry themed gameplay objects, revealing some of the process on Twitter, on the forums and through blog posts.
Finally, in September, the community got to vote first on the title of the new stuff pack, and then its icon. While ‘Stuffy McStuff Pack‘ didn’t make it into the final voting list, it’s nice to know how the team goes about choosing names. From the options of Laundry Day, Rustic Lifestyle, Rustic Home, and Laundry, the community picked Laundry Day, which just left the pack’s icon. Once again there were four options, including a peg, socks, a washing machine and a laundry basket. The laundry basket won, though it looked a bit like a cupcake at smaller sizes, so it was refined to make it a bit clearer.
Seeing a stuff pack go from concept to finished product has been an interesting and enlightening process, giving Simmers a look behind the curtain and a unique opportunity to have their say. Certainly, I have gained some understanding of why some packs turn out the way they do. While the results of the voting process didn’t reflect my personal choices, this has been a great way to make the community as a whole feel like their opinion actually matters, and I feel that in itself is pretty important.
So, with all that said, let’s take a look at the final pack, due out this week.
When I first loaded up this pack, I must admit I wasn’t too impressed, but I found the outfits grew on me after a while.
When I first loaded up this pack, I must admit I wasn’t too impressed, but I found the outfits grew on me after a while. Of the 20 new items included in Laundry Day Stuff, there are two new items for children, 5 clothing items and a new hairstyle for masculine adult Sims, with the rest being for feminine adult Sims. All the clothing has a flowy, country feel to it, with lots of floral patterns for the ladies, and nice casual hairstyles. My favourite items ended up being the clipped up hairstyle, the asymmetrical off the shoulder top, and the dress, which is very similar to the first concept art for the pack. I’m not mad about the male clothing options, as they feel very samey to me, but overall I’m happy with the new wardrobe options from this pack.
The pack includes about 50 new items, most of which are pictured above. The game calls the furniture ‘rustic’, which seems like a fitting description. There’s two new doors and a massive bay window, wicker furniture, rugs, a range of ‘clutter’ objects and various shelves and similar surfaces, all available in a range of colour options. You can really build your Sims a pretty authentic country home with all of the available options. Again, I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but the decorative objects really have a lot of detail and charm, so they’re growing on me even as I write this.
Unsurprisingly, the new gameplay included in this pack revolves around washing clothes. There’s a new washing machine and dryer, both front loading so they can be stacked on top of one another if you are short on space. If you’re thinking that we’re a long way from that original ‘eco living’ theme, the pack also includes a bucket where Sims can wash their clothes by hand, gaining a bit of fitness and making a huge mess in the process, plus a washing line where clothes can air dry instead of being tumble dried.
While I’m a little disappointed by the lack of top loading washing machines, which are the norm in my little bubble, thanks to the insight the team have given us into the pack creation process, I do understand that this would have probably pushed the pack out of the scope of a stuff pack, both in terms of the extra animations as well as extra objects required.
Naturally, there are also laundry baskets where dirty laundry accumulates. The new gameplay works pretty similarly to how laundry worked in The Sims 3: once you place laundry-related items in your Sims’ home, dirty laundry starts to pile up, and eventually must be washed and dried, through your preferred method. Sims received moodlets based on the state of their clothes – they’re neutral if their washing was pretty standard, or if their clothes aren’t as fresh as they could be; they might be happy or confident if they get to put on really fresh clothes or something washed in flower-scented water; and they might be less than happy if it’s been a long while since the last load of laundry.
Washing machines and dryers can be upgraded by handy Sims to improve their washing and drying capabilities, and they can, of course, break down or cause other problems if not properly maintained. There are a few other interactions that have been added – Sims can check the pockets of laundry in the hamper, they can clean lint out of the dryer, and they can watch the machines do their thing.
Laundry Day Stuff is what I think of as a ‘quality of life’ pack. It’s not adding something big and dramatic like bowling or water slides, but it is adding things that are part of our everyday real lives, making our Sims and their stories seem just that little bit more real. And the best part? If you decide that laundry is a bit of a drag, you can simply not have laundry-related items in your Sims’ home!
Check out the trailer below:
Thank you to EA for providing us with an early access code for The Sims 4 Laundry Day Stuff for this review.