The Sims 5 may not have a real name yet—Electronic Arts announced the "next generation Sims game" today with the codename "Project Rene"—but it is going to bring back the indisputable best feature of the entire series: the Create-A-Style tool.
I've already gushed at length about Create-A-Style this summer, so I won't rehash the entire thing, but in brief: In The Sims 3, you have the ability to really fine tune your builds by choosing the material swatch (wood, leather, marble, etc.) and the exact color of furniture, walls, and other objects. A couch may let you change the fabric separate from the frame while lamps can have customized shades and bases. Even wall finishes can be customized to create lovely subtle patterns or just toss that wacky cowboy pattern everywhere.
It was creatively freeing, especially compared with the swatches we've been locked into with The Sims 4, where you can only choose between the preset pieces of furniture with their color combos chosen for you. Getting wood colors to match between furniture sets will forever be my ninth circle of hell.
During today's livestream, Maxis showed off a "very early" look at some of the furniture editing tools in the next Sims game. Be still my heart; they're beautiful. Well, the interface isn't beautiful (yet), but conceptually I am smitten.
Project Rene will bring back the ability to edit material swatches, set patterns, use a color picker to adjust exact hues, and will even let you change the structure of a piece of furniture. The in-development version that Maxis showed splits object editing into three parts: surface, shape, and accents.
Maxis showed off a bed being edited which let the player choose a two-person or twin size base, and then separate choices for the headboard and footboard, which is part of the item's shape. They also show a couch with options for a single or triple cushion back. In the accents section you'll be able to add and rotate throw pillows—even on the z-axis, hot damn. You can also spot a lot of blankets tossed over the backs and arms of sofas throughout the video, which I'd imagine are accent pieces too.
"We're experimenting with what's worked and where we can push further to offer more flexibility than ever before," Maxis said of the feature preview. Create-A-Style is undeniably one of the part of the series that really worked, so I'm glad to see it being not only brought back, but expanded on.
This is just the start of the early look at features that Maxis says it's planning while developing the next Sims game. We don't know yet just how extensive the multiplayer bits of the next game will be or if it will drastically improve on the clunky Sims 4 Gallery. As for the modding scene, Maxis announced today that it's partnering with Curseforge as the official hub for Sims 4 mods.