How to create unique sims characters and where to find inspiration

from: KEYSIU

Creating characters is one of the most diverse features of gameplay in The Sims 4. When you first launch the game, creating your sim is literally the first thing the game offers you! That's why many people wonder: "How do I create interesting, unusual, diverse characters that I'll really want to play as?" After all, the main character(s) is the first reason why we enjoy the process so much, or not! 

Speaking of the "beauty" of characters, we must understand that this concept is subjective, and what may be beautiful for one person may not be so for another. In this article, I would like to share my techniques and secrets on how to make a character truly interesting, unusual, and genuinely unique! 

When I create a character, the very first thing I do is generate a random Sim. A significant portion of the community often encounters the issue of transferring makeup from everyday category to all other categories manually, and now I will show you how to "apply" the first created makeup to all other categories of clothing. First, we need to launch the game and click on the "New Game" button. 


When your first character is automatically generated, check their gender. If you plan to create a male character, they must be male. If their gender does not match the gender of the character you initially planned to create, you will need to return to the main menu and start again until the gender of the random character matches the gender of the character you intend to create. 

For example, if I want to create a female character, but upon the first game load, a male character is generated: 


I need a female character to be generated, so I don't save my progress and go back to the main menu. Then I click "New Game" again. I repeat this process until a random character is female: 


Once the job is done, make sure that all the makeup from everyday clothing is transferred to other clothing categories! 

Now that the preparatory stage is complete, it's worth discussing the character’s creation process itself. For me it can start in two variations: I already know what I want to create, or I have no idea what to create and how. 

Here I'll focus on the second scenario. The first one won't differ much; you'll just be bringing to life an already conceived idea. In the second scenario, you still need to find that "idea." This situation is more common among players. Suppose you know you want to create a girl but have no specific concept in mind. In this case, here's what I do: 

1. Strip the model character of everything unnecessary to avoid distractions: 


2. I go through the wardrobe and/or accessories, looking for something I've never used before and that looks interesting and unusual enough. It's an item that I would never have thought to use otherwise. For example, this time I came across these earrings: 


3. Now I will try to build an image around this object. Using the example of the earrings, I want to create something more fantasy-oriented! The main shade will be red, and as I progress, I'll decide on one or two additional colors that will complement this image! The spikes on the hearts remind me of something goblin-like, so I want to give the character a round figure and an unnatural skin color! I'll create using a mix of alpha and maxis, as this is the most optimal option for me. 

I always start with genetics. To come up with some idea of the character's appearance, I open Pinterest and browse ideas on fantasy-themed facial features: 


In the process, I find some interesting artwork that I will refer to a bit: 


All you need to do next is try to take some ideas from the artwork and embody them in the sim. For myself, I choose a hairstyle, neck accessories, nose shape and a sidelong glance! I'll choose a slightly different skin tone because working with green skin is quite difficult, especially when trying to match it with red earrings. Often I use custom skin tones, skin details and additional skin colors and shades. 

You can find all of these CC items by searching for the following terms: 


Now I want to change the genetics themselves. For this, I often use presets for the face, lips, nose, etc. They allow you to add even more variability to the appearance of your characters! Don't be afraid to try something new; this way you may come across presets or other items that actually look very cool! 


I always finish off the genetics and look with lenses! Remember that the right lenses almost always DRAMATICALLY change your character! 


When I've created the genetics, I move on to the hair, then to the cloth. As I mentioned before, I decided to keep the hairstyle roughly the same as in the art with the goblin! 


Now I see that I have a second color – orange, because I accentuated the yellow eyes and light-orange studs of the earrings! Now I just need to find a third color. To do this, I usually open the color wheel and look for a color that would be complementary to one of the colors I've already found! 


This time I was lucky, and the color wheel's triadic scheme showed me a clear third color that would be good to use – blue!  If you're lost in color theory, you can watch this video!

Now that I know all three colors I'll be using in my work, the task remains simple – to pick a costume in the right theme that will contain at least two of the colors I've chosen: 


In my case, I found this kimono, which, as it seems to me, pairs very well with the "ropes" on the earrings, contains the third color I need – blue, as well as red, which was my first accent. I complete the look with other accessories: 


I decided to make the accents of the accessories a light orange color! Now, I'm moving on to makeup. Since I'm creating a goblin, I would like to create a more "dirty" makeup look, but at the same time, I feel like there should also be red and orange accents in it: 


And here we have the finished look! Now I can show it to you up close: 


If during character creation I already know what I want to do, I try to do the same thing: determine 2-3 main colors, take inspiration from art/photos for key elements, customize them to my taste if needed and so on. The most important aspects: avoid mixing different styles in one piece of work (for example, jeans with a vintage shirt), try to maintain consistency in the style of the work, and it will look harmonious. It's also important to give characters unique features – bulging eyes, pointed ears, freckles, interesting clothing accents, etc. This way characters will remain unique and interesting. This detail should immediately catch the viewer's attention, but at the same time not "ruin" the character, but rather be a kind of "highlight". 

I believe it's important to constantly experiment. Even if you have skin details and favorite presets that you use all the time, try changing them, try something else, something new, who knows, maybe you'll like something else? The more often you use the same elements in makeup, genetics, and skin features, the more often your sims will resemble each other. Try lowering the eyes a bit, making the chin a bit larger, arching the eyebrows in a different direction – this way you'll understand that your characters can be completely different, and one small detail will noticeably change your perception of them! 

Of course, the diversity will also be influenced by the amount of custom content (CC) you use when creating! I recommend from time to time going through it, deleting what you'll never use, especially when your style changes (and it changes constantly!), it's great to keep an eye on content updates, and also have various mods that will simplify your Sim creation process. 

For me, these mods include: 

1. Stay Still in CAS

2. More Columns in CAS

3. CAS category Separators

4. No EA Eyelashes 

As well as apps like: 

1. TS4 Mod Manager 

2. GShade/ReShade 

3. SRWE  

If you're seeking inspiration for creating characters, resources like Pinterest, thematic playlists on Spotify (or any other streaming platform), watching TV series, playing games, reading books, etc., can be helpful. If you feel stuck, try creating something you've never done before.   

Additionally within the community, there has been a character challenge called "emoji characters" for quite some time. Ask your friends to send you three random emojis, and based on them, try to come up with a character's appearance! 

If you're struggling with outfit combinations, you can search for pins on Pinterest using the keyword "outfit." If you notice that the clothing style of your characters is too monotonous and you want to try something new, be sure to browse images online based on relevant search queries and try to replicate what you see in them.   

If you're having trouble with genetics and can't create a beautiful face for your character, whether male or female, search for photos of real people, models or characters, and then try to replicate what you see in the game several times. After 10-15 attempts, you'll start to see and feel what needs to be done to make the facial features noticeably different! Moreover, you'll understand how to make the face truly beautiful because you'll be focusing on features that are pleasing to your eye!   







Sims creator, designer, artist. Creates characters, makes narrative gameplay sketches, author of numerous CAS challenges and contests