The Sims 2: Castaway


3D Modelling (Maya)
Content Optimization
Optimize Characters
Rebuild Character Rigs
Tracking Progress
UV Mapping


Autodesk Maya
Adobe Photoshop
PSP Dev Kit


Electronic Arts


Burnaby, B.C.



About The Sims 2: Castaway

Electronic Arts, often known as EA, is a company that creates and publishes video games. They’re responsible for making some of the most popular and enjoyable games you might have played. They produce games in many different genres, like sports, shooting, racing, and even games where you can build and control things. One of their famous games is The Sims, where you can create and manage virtual people and their lives. Many people worldwide play EA’s games on various devices like computers, game consoles, and mobile phones. EA is a big part of the video game industry and provides entertainment to gamers of all ages.

Challenges to overcome

When appointing Matt as an Assistant Modeler, Electronic Arts presented Matt with the following challenges:

  • Transitioning from PS2 to PSP
    When Electronic Arts transitioned from their PlayStation 2 (PS2) version to the PlayStation Portable (PSP), they encountered a challenge. Their high-resolution character models and textures from the PS2 exceeded the PSP’s capabilities in terms of handling the number of on-screen polygons and texture sizes.
  • Various Clothing Deterioration
    Given the in-game wilderness environment, the development team aimed to simulate clothing degradation based on wear and exposure to water. This involved designing various clothing versions that corresponded to different levels of deterioration, while also ensuring that the clothing did not intersect with the character’s body.
  • Testing Revisions on the PSP Developer Kit
    Ensuring the effectiveness of character revisions during activities such as running, climbing, swimming, and accessing inventory items was crucial to guarantee the smooth performance of each adjusted asset. This required regular testing on a PSP Developer Kit.


Upon meeting the amazing group of talented artists our goals were to:

  • Monitor the Developments & Revisions
    We began by reviewing all the assets we were going to optimize, the ways we were going to monitor our progress, and how Perforce versions worked. Additionally, we attended group meetings and delivered Daily Progress Reports that detailed our daily accomplishments and unmet objectives. This made it easier for the lead designer to monitor the quality of the PS2 to PSP conversion’s development.
  • Low-Poly Clothing
    Due to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) having a lower polycount threshold on screen, clothing models exceeding a specific polycount would cause game slowdown. As a result, each clothing item and its degraded variations needed to stay below a specific polycount while maintaining a high-quality appearance with smaller texture sizes.
  • Quality Assurance Testing
    We optimized, rigged, and in-game tested every clothing degradation using developer kits to ensure there was no z-fighting or geometry clipping. When optimizing a character’s clothing, our task was to connect the clothing to the rig without allowing any intersections, preventing z-fighting issues that would cause body parts to protrude from the clothing. This involved meticulous quality assurance to ensure the clothing remained properly weighted during various activities, such as running, climbing, swimming, and accessing inventory items.

Even as we remained on task, we brightened our days with each other’s whiteboard doodles.

Our Resolution(s)

Upon wrapping up the project, our team celebrated our hard work, eagerly anticipating the game’s launch. After the launch, Matt purchased a PlayStation Portable and a copy of the game to enjoy the experience and check out the credits, where our names were proudly featured. We were thrilled to learn that Game Spot rated it 8/10, and IGN gave it a score of 7.5/10, solidifying our sense of accomplishment.

Working with the extensive group of amazing artists and collaborators was a truly incredible experience. Matt had an amazing time working with Electronic Arts.

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