The Sims community is nothing if not enthusiastic and vocal. Maxis has tapped into that energy before by allowing players to vote on DLC for The Sims 4 like the Laundry Day Stuff Pack. This year, Maxis took the same approach by letting simmers choose a new pack theme from options like "Happy Haunts," "Fun Tech," and "Arts & Crafts." With that power in their hands, players voted for an Arts & Crafts pack with a knitting gameplay element. In a second vote, simmers chose a "DIY Delight" theme for the pack. Next, Maxis asked us to pick just 15 from a pool of 92 outfit concepts. Oh no.
Of course that means a lot of folks voted for items that weren't chosen. I personally voted for a bunch of neat knitted hats because—well partly because they were very cute—they seemed like the sorts of things someone would actually knit for themselves to wear. Alas, only one hat was chosen and the other 19 were left to languish. I was a bit disappointed, as of course were other simmers who were excited by Maxis' many concept drawings and let down that the majority of the community didn't agree with their taste. A crafty group of players are channeling that energy into a collaborative project.
One Sims 4 modder called "Pixelunivairse" spitballed the idea that the community could pick up the ideas Maxis had left on the table and create those themselves instead. When other modders started speaking up in excited support for the idea, another Sims 4 modder—Ashley Cornett, better known as her username "Pepperoni-Puffin"—whipped up a separate page to keep track of which items were being actively worked on.
"I’ve been in enough group projects to know that consistent communication and up to date information makes all the difference," Pepperoni-Puffin says. "Without a resource that supports that, 10 different people could make their own version of the same item and there would be no consistent link to any of them." Nothing kills a project like disorganization, and she felt this one deserved a future.
Pixelunivairse's original name stuck: Missed Opportunity. "I know the name kind of sounds like a stab at Maxis so hopefully they wouldn’t be too upset by that," says Pepperoni-Puffin. Although there was some initial grumbling on Maxis' forums when the results of the votes were announced, Pepperoni-Puffin feels that the attitude surrounding the project is largely excitement and gratitude towards the modders who are pitching in. "I just hope the Sim Gurus/EA are enthused that the unselected ideas won’t go to waste," she says. "If the community didn’t care for the designs, this would have never transpired."
Other modders are now messaging Pepperoni-Puffin to claim the items they'd like to work on—though of course that doesn't exclude others from making their own versions. "It’s a big honor to have the community trust me with this," she says of updating and managing the page.
Aside from modded items most often being free, there's the added bonus that modders have been working fast—as does anyone on a side project they're excited about. Many creators have posted work-in-progress shots of their claimed items and a few are even completed and ready to try out. So of course I did.
The red yarn carpet
There's already a decent spread of new clothing items to work with across ages and styles. I've grabbed all of the completed items I could find so far and thrown together a family to show off modders' creations.
I started out with this fella who I definitely did not name Jim Bob in a catastrophic drought of creativity. Maxis picked several masculine shirt designs for the official Stuff Pack but I'd had my eye on the two pairs of knitted pants. Jim is super cozy in a pair of llama-patterned sweatpants by Kiwisim4, a slouchy green sweater by FerdianaSims, and a pompom knitted hat with a bill by MoonTaart.
Jim's wife, Jemma, is wearing a set of crafted clothes that look less like she's ready for bed than her husband. She's wearing a feminine version of Maxis' concept for a knitted sweater vest over a sleeved shirt as created by Pepperoni-Puffin. The miniskirt isn't knitted, but it's got that crafty vibe as if maybe some enterprising Sim hand-painted roses on an old denim skirt. Modder Dancemachinetrait created this one as a recolor of a skirt already in the game.
Their kids, whose names I have absolutely already forgotten, are both rocking full-body knits. The patterned dress by Pixelunivairse I chose to go with in a more muted color than the bright pink from Maxis' concepts. As with all these outfits, Pixelunivairse and other modders create several color swatches for each item. The toddler onesie was also made by Kiwisim4 to match Jim's llama pants. Kiwisim4 also made a version closer to Maxis' original design but I'm a fan of the father-toddler matching outfits.
There are even more custom outfits created that you can find and download via the Missed Opportunities page where Pepperoni-Puffin is tracking completed creations. The folks working on the project have done a great job (as Sims modders often do) ensuring that the modded pieces match Maxis' original style. Jim, Jemma, and their nameless children look like they totally fit into this tiny snowy cabin I built a few weeks back. Well, aside from Jemma who should probably trade that miniskirt for some knitted pants so she doesn't get cold.
I asked Pepperoni-Puffin if she thinks that the momentum on Missed Opportunities will propel Sims modders to create their own versions of other scrapped Maxis ideas. "I’ve already received some suggestions to include the scrapped [Create-A-Sim] items for Laundry Day," she says, along with concepts from other community-voted packs. Though of course that would also depend on whether the community is excited enough to rally around expanding to more stuff packs.
For now, it's just neat to see a bunch of Sims modders all jumping on one idea together with the sort of untamed productivity that we've all felt when setting out on a cool new project. "It’s really encouraging and gratifying to see everyone come together," Pepperoni-Puffin says. By the time Maxis releases its 15 Sim outfits (and whatever Build/Buy mode items go with them), Sims modders might already have 77 other crafted outfit mods ready to accompany them.