Life By You: Yes to Sex Mods and Privacy

Life by You Mods |

Life By You: Yes to Sex Mods and Privacy

When EA’s SimCity reboot, focused on live services, stumbled in 2013, Paradox seized the opportunity by introducing Cities: Skylines, a classic offline city-building game, subsequently claiming the throne in the genre. Evidently, this was merely the beginning.

In the coming months, Paradox plans to launch Life By You, a formidable contender to The Sims, under the guidance of former Sims studio leader Rod Humble. It seems that Paradox aims to recreate its past success. Cities: Skylines embodied everything that SimCity lacked, and now Life By You pledges to deliver all that Sims 4 players have been craving, while eliminating unwanted elements.

Primarily, this translates to an abundance of customization freedom. Rather than wrestling with unofficial utilities to extract Python scripts, Life By You enthusiasts will have access to in-game visual scripting tools—some of which are being utilized by the Berkeley, California-based studio for game development and future expansions.

The tools appear potent: Players have the ability to create tailored jobs, social situations, conversations (where inhabitants communicate in actual languages, not nonsensical speech), and more. An object editor is included, along with compatibility for importing custom 3D models and animations.

“Feel free to create an expansion pack superior to ours,” Humble shared with me during a conversation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week. “The game belongs to you, and there’s no need to seek anyone’s approval to stream it or utilize your creations in any way you desire. That’s the foundation of our business model. Our goal is to offer a life simulator that the community has been longing for. It’s in their hands, and we simply wish to pass it along to them.”

In Life By You, players can look forward to several exciting possibilities:

  1. Accomplish objectives individually or as a household, akin to The Sims experience
  2. Immerse themselves in the viewpoint of any inhabitant, traverse the open world by foot or vehicle, and experience their life (including their “memories”) without any loading interruptions
  3. Design and position not only homes but also various town structures like offices and eateries, which can be made functional using the scripting tools
  4. Develop and distribute personalized quests that formalize the casual challenges favored by Sims 4 streamers (for instance, Humble’s suggestion: Attempt to have 100 offspring)

During the Life By You unveiling livestream earlier this month, the audience enthusiastically echoed each feature in capital letters: OPEN WORLD!? DIRECT CONTROL!? CARS. Humble clearly understands his target demographic.

Affirmative to intimacy, negative to telemetry

Life By You offers uncensored nudity for players who disable the censorship shaders. While it doesn’t showcase graphic sex scenes (those occur behind closed doors), Humble is fully conscious of the most sought-after Sims mod category. Life By You has been “purposefully crafted” to enable adult mods, he informed me.

As Humble points out, the ability to securely explore one’s sexuality and identity is a significant appeal of life simulation games. Consequently, Life By You will not incorporate a feature present in The Sims 4: telemetry. Telemetry involves transmitting anonymized gameplay data to developers for analysis, enabling EA to report 289 million “WooHoos” in Sims 4 games worldwide last year.

Humble explained, “People globally often utilize life sims to examine aspects such as their sexuality. For example, considering how they might feel about having children or dating a man or woman. So, in today’s world, it is crucial for this community to be confident that their experience is private. There’s no in-game telemetry collecting data that could potentially be relayed to an unfriendly government.”

While I haven’t encountered instances of in-game telemetry being leveraged against someone by a government, anonymization, and data security are not infallible. If I were concerned about my in-game activities’ privacy, I would prefer a game without telemetry over one containing it—even with assurances of its safety or the option to disable it. Life By You earns a point for this.

Oops, everyone’s gay

Discovering one’s identity, some players may opt to simulate life in a town reflecting their demographic, while others might lean towards a more fantastical setting. Life By You promises to accommodate both preferences.

“Initially, I set all the default settings for gender, skin tones, and sexual preferences,” Humble stated. “However, when you develop your game, you can adjust those aspects as you please, using percentages. So, if you think, ‘I want to create a world where everyone falls in love with me, and I’m the sole focus of their desire,’ you can make that happen.”

Alternatively, you could design a world where everyone is gay or non-binary—whatever your heart desires.

Humble added, “I believe an entire generation is tired of having gender roles forced upon them. So, we’re providing the option to define these elements as you see fit. We hope people appreciate this flexibility.”

In terms of skin tones, towns initially adopt an “Olympic Village” setting, as stated by Humble—representing a balanced blend. However, players ultimately have the freedom to choose their city’s inhabitants.

Humble explains, “If you reside in Brazil and feel that ‘people here don’t resemble this,’ simply adjust the demographic distribution, and voilà. This customization extends to age and gender as well. Our goal is to enable players to create environments that mirror their own surroundings and resonate with them, rather than being limited to a default Northern California setting.”

Sim v Sim

Life By You offers a structured gaming experience with objectives, yet its extensive freedom and decision-making options give it more of a platform vibe. Humble mentioned that Life By You deliberately steers clear of illness (removed post-Covid) and violence. While characters can pass away, they won’t do so due to sickness or homicide, and the game does not encourage developing violent mods. As Humble puts it, “The important things in life seldom involve striking others with sticks.” Nevertheless, if a modder successfully transforms Life By You into something akin to GTA, that’s their choice.

The anticipation of seeing the creations of scripters and modders in Life By You—perhaps suburban RPGs?—is thrilling, but it’s uncertain if it will soar to the heights of Cities: Skylines. That game filled the void left by SimCity’s collapse, while The Sims 4 continues to be hugely popular, boasting a vast and well-established community of modders and video creators.

The Sims 4 base game is also now free-to-play, and Maxis is developing a new Sims installment, which could potentially feature similar elements. Despite the criticisms The Sims 4 receives, it possesses numerous positive aspects, such as its unique art style. In comparison, Life By You appears somewhat like an outdated CAD software-created architectural model. Additionally, the robust scripting tools might prove to be glitchy or challenging to use—there’s no telling what issues could emerge from such an ambitious project.

At present, witnessing genuine competition within the life sim genre is refreshing. Another promising endeavor, Paralives, is also making headway, meaning EA must up their game to maintain The Sims’ supremacy. Life By You is not far behind, with its early access release on Steam and the Epic Games Store scheduled for September 12.

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Useful Information:
- How to Install Life by You Mods
- Life by You: Everything we Know
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