Notifications are a game mechanic used to inform the player of events and happenings in their game.
Most notifications in The Sims are delivered in the form of a popup box. When shown, the game is paused, and the player is required to click a button in order to continue playing. With some events, a short sound effect or jingle will play. By default, the game may also notify the player of certain significant events through the use of Live PIPs, which will display a live camera of the scene in the bottom-right corner. Clicking on the PIP will cause the game camera to jump to the scene. Unlike other notifications, Live PIPs can be disabled in the game settings.
While Live PIPs are relatively non-intrusive and do not interrupt gameplay, text notifications are always delivered in dialog boxes, and players may find a large number of notifications to be annoying.
The Sims 2Edit
In The Sims 2, dialog boxes continue to appear for crucial notifications, or for situations where the player is required to make a decision, such as chance cards. Other than that, most notifications appear at the top-right of the screen, and will not interrupt gameplay. Notifications can be dismissed by clicking on the "X" next to them, or by simply waiting for them to expire on their own. Notifications can be pushed by in-game objects, controllers, or by a Sim themselves. If a Sim or object pushes a notification, clicking on the notification will cause the camera to jump to that Sim or object, if they are present on the lot.
Live PIPs function similarly to those in The Sims, and will again move the game camera over to the event when clicked on. Unlike other notifications, clicking on the PIP again will bring the camera back to the player's original position. As in The Sims, they are enabled by default, but can be disabled if the player so chooses.
Notifications in The Sims 2 are not nested or combined. If multiple notifications appear, the newest will appear on top, while older notifications will be pushed towards the bottom of the screen.
The Sims 3Edit
Notifications in The Sims 3 appear on the top-right of the screen, much like The Sims 2; however, if multiple notifications are pushed, they will be combined into a single notification bubble. Notifications are divided into five categories:
- Store: For notifications relating to The Sims 3 Store.
- Player Updates: For notifications relating to the player updates system.
- Information: For informational notifications notifying the player of events in-game.
- Lessons: For notifications providing tips and gameplay help.
- Chatty: For notifications regarding the conversations Sims are having.
Notifications are organized by category, which can be navigated through using the tabs at the top of the bubble; if the tab is grey, it means that there are no active notifications in that category. Multiple notifications in the same category can be panned through from newest to oldest using the two arrow buttons to the left of the tabs. In addition, players can hide notifications that they do not want to dismiss yet by clicking on the "Toggle Visibility" button at the far-right of the notification, which will hide all active notifications from the player; receiving a new notification will cause the notification bubble to appear again.
Notifications do not appear to expire on their own, although they do appear to hide themselves automatically after a period of time.
Much like The Sims 2, dialog boxes pausing gameplay may periodically appear, such as notifications for potential opportunities. Notifications can also be pushed by Sims; clicking on the icon of the Sim will move the camera to their location.
The Sims 4Edit
In The Sims 4, notifications appear on the top-right of the screen, like in previous games. When multiple notifications appear, they stack together, with the most newest being visible to the player. Older notifications on the stack can only be viewed if the newer ones are removed first. The player can view all notifications at the same time through the notification wall, where all notifications are automatically stored. Stored notifications will also have a relational timestamp informing the player of how long ago the notification was sent.
There is a maximum of 200 notifications that can exist in the wall at a time; when this limit has been reached, older notifications will be automatically deleted. Players can also close notifications by clicking on the red "X" next to each individual notification, or they can click the trash can icon to close all of them immediately.