Life By You might become The Sims 4's biggest competition, but it was partially inspired by a very different game

Life by You
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Paradox Interactive's upcoming life simulator, Life By You, might be an upcoming challenger to The Sims, but it shares a similar core ethos with that of a very unexpected board game: chess.

"As a game designer, one thing I enjoy so much is working with a game that clearly shouldn't have any victory conditions," Life By You studio lead Rod Humble told Edge Magazine in issue #392. "There's a lovely Italian folk saying: at the end of the game, the Queen and the Pawn get back in the same box. There aren't any winners or losers in life. You just live a life, and life sims are a great equalizer."

This Italian proverb is part of what inspired Paradox to take a swing at creating one of the most moddable life simulator experiences ever. According to Humble, "Making a life sim means bringing games to the most important thing in the world – our lives – and being able to help players tell stories that they can relate to, that are very personal, that they couldn't in any other medium." With fully customizable families, homes, and worlds for them to live in, Life By You is enough to pique the interest of any avid Sims 4 fan. 

To the uninitiated, choosing between porridge or fried eggs for breakfast doesn't sound very exciting. But with life sims being such "great equalizers", offering an even playing field with no winners or losers, they can also transform the most mundane facets of life into key gameplay features. 

In this way, Life by You seems to have presented unique developmental challenges to Paradox. "The design questions that come up are different from other games', like figuring out how many times an elf shoots their bow every second," said Humble. "This is really important stuff that everybody can relate to – like, how do you wake up in the morning? What kind of breakfast do you want?"

Life By You is launching into Early Access on March 5, only available on PC platforms.

Check out the very best simulator games to pick up and play now.

Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.