What happened in the world of Paralives last year?
2019 was a busy year for Paralives. The upcoming indie game has gained a huge fan base that eagerly awaits each new teaser. Two new developers have joined the team, thanks to the thousands of patrons currently supporting the project. Popular YouTubers have covered the game extensively, as well as major gaming news sources such as Game Informer. In 2019, Paralives happened, and it shook the Simternet to the core.
As the year draws to a close, please join us as we look back over one of the most exciting years for life simulation fans
It all started with a Tweet.
On June 28 2019, game developer Alex Massé tweeted 3 simple words: “Let’s do this!” And then the following day, the first Paralives footage appeared online.
Alex proceeded to share early teasers of Paralives in order to gain support for an extremely ambitious project, which began part-time in Fall 2018. As a fan of simulation games including Planet Coaster & The Sims, Massé considers Paralives his dream game.
The announcement of another life simulator came as a welcome surprise to the community, promising features such as pets, seasons and an open world in the base game, but many still remain sceptical. Why hasn’t there been any other life simulation game until now?
The Sims franchise has dominated the market for almost 20 years, which remains to this day the only viable life simulation game available to a huge yet rather unsettled fan base. Perhaps the challenge of creating another game alongside the EA Cash Cow in a niche genre is too ambitious or too financially risky for many studios; simulating life is a huge amount of code and artwork after all.
Yet here we are; one indie developer has managed to capture the attention of hundreds of thousands of life simulation game fans, gained financial support from thousands of pledges, and is making major progress in bringing Paralives to the market.
And then there were three.
Not long after the initial announcement, Paralives went viral thanks to popular Sims YouTubers covering the game which brought an influx of new fans, thousands of whom joined the Paralives Discord, which now has over 25,000 members.
Perhaps due to the success of Paralives’ announcement and positive reception, Alex Massé transitioned from part-time to full time on the project, and his search for a development team began.
Over time, thousands of Patrons began supporting the project and at the time of writing, the Paralives Patreon fund stands at over $5,200 per month.
More recently, largely due to the successful Patreon campaign, two 3D artists were hired to help. Paralives is no longer a solo project, but a small development team. In 2020, we should expect to see more substantial progress being made now that Alex has the help of two talented artists, both of whom are Sims fans, and will be helping finalise the design of the highly anticipated Parafolk characters.
Léa Sorribès officially joined the Paralives Team in December 2019 and kindly shared with us her experience so far:
“My “Paralife” started in October when Alex sent me an email to offered me an internship. Because I’m finishing my Studies in France, we compromised and he offered me a part-time role. I was so excited to be able to work on Paralives because I’ve been obsessed with it for months!
Working from France is difficult because we have to deal with the jet lag, but it’s only a minor issue until I get my papers and move to Montreal (fingers crossed!). Now that Roxane has also joined us, it’s only getting better and better. We have so many ideas for the game and we are working as a trio which has been very fun and inspiring so far. I’m so happy to be able to collaborate with these talented people.
I would like to address a special thanks to the community and patrons for their warm welcome and their amazing ideas. I can’t wait to bring you the game that we are all wishing for!”
– Léa Sorribès, 3D Artist, Paralives
Alongside this announcement, Alex introduced another developer who joined the team: Roxane Morin.
“Working on Paralives has thus far been very interesting and fun! I won’t lie, I feel privileged to have gotten the job. Working on this kind of game is a long time dream of mine. Creating Sims custom content is what initially got me into 3D modeling.
I’m excited to now ‘make it official’ and get to work on Paralives’ catalogue of objects and character options. Beyond that, I am looking forward to pitching in the game’s design and mechanics. I’ve already had a lot of fun discussing that with the team and the community on Discord.”
– Roxane Molin, 3D Artist, Paralives
With three passionate developers now working on Paralives, it is certainly starting to feel like the project is moving in the right direction. While a release date or price has not yet been announced, it is very likely that 2020 will be the year we will finally see some gameplay and the Parafolks.
Paralives graphics: then and now.
Reddit user Instanbulli noticed a vast improvement in the pre-alpha game’s graphics, which is largely due to new shaders implemented by the developers. More recent screenshots and video footage show improved shading and texture, and overall the game looks “less flat”.
The image on the left is from one of the very first videos in June 2019, and the image on the right is from the following Thanksgiving.
While graphics shaders certainly do make a difference, there’s no denying that there’s been a huge improvement in the overall presentation and detail of the game. And since Paralives is still considered pre-alpha, we can expect all aspects of the virtual world to evolve going forward.
Q&A’s with Alex Massé
Back in August, Paralives founder Alex Massé hosted an “Ask me Anything” event. We learned of many features and future plans for the game. Read the AMA here. In addition, The Paralives Hub had some interesting questions answered in our exclusive interview with Alex.
Want to learn even more about Paralives development? Don’t miss our Wiki article on all the exciting features we may see in the final game.
Celebrating the holidays, Paralives style.
Over the past 6 months, Paralives has all but confirmed that the game will include holidays and seasons, and we have seen a good selection of holiday and weather scenes already. From the stormy cemetery to the windy Fall Halloween scene, it appears Paralives loves to get into the spirit of the season. We were even treated to turkey on Thanksgiving, and Christmas was no different.
Check out the latest holiday scene below, complete with customisable Christmas gifts, nameable Christmas stockings, a cosy fireplace and if you look through the window, snow! Baby, it’s cold outside.
Looking forwards: 2020
While Paralives will not be released in 2020, it is certain that the decade ahead will see this game impact the life simulation genre, of which there is plenty of room for healthy competition.
A game that started as the dream of one indie developer, that many life simulation game fans have been begging for, is finally becoming a reality. In such a short time, a huge community has emerged for Paralives, watching and waiting for more the anticipated Parafolk reveal, sharing their ideas on Discord and the Forums, and even practising their custom content creations.
Lastly, everyone at The Paralives Hub would like to thank you for following our content, and we wish you very Happy New Year!