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Paralives Hub Forums Gameplay & Simulation Condition: A long-term score for a para’s general wellbeing

  • Condition: A long-term score for a para’s general wellbeing

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    I was making a post about how pets might be handled when I came up with an idea I feel could work well for human parafolk too. Needs, aspiration levels, moodlets and emotions (well… That one sounds good on paper) are good and all and I think would work well in paralives too, they’ve always been a little temporary. Got a negative moodlet? Just wait it out, or in the Sims 4 put down a fancy vase and you’ll drown it out entirely.

    I’ve found that sims tend to bounce back from setbacks really easy. Every horrible thing under the sun can happen to them one day, but the next day they can be almost entirely over it. But what if it was harder to bounce back and players had to put more effort into it? What if we could watch a para slip into a cycle of misery, or have our para help someone out of that? I think it would be realistic, compelling and open the door for gameplay options that wouldn’t really work in the Sims series. (Though I’d totally support an easy mode to make this system more forgiving)

    I see Condition as a long-term score or bar. Moodlets come and go, needs rise and fall, but Condition is affected more slowly. You could interpret it as an aggregate of a para’s mental and physical health (without necessarily being tied to disabilities or neurodivergence).

    When a para is in good condition, some things go better for them

    -Less likely to become ill, whether spontaneously or because of contact with a sick para

    -If fitness is a thing, more likely to become fit (fit not necessarily meaning skinny, though)

    – better performance at work or school, or skill-related tasks

    -Random positive moodlets

    – Negative moodlets sometimes lasting shorter or having a smaller impact on their mood?

    – Effects on some needs, like perhaps less decay for the fun need

    A para in bad condition could have all the opposites. An additional idea for parafolk in bad conditions that I think could be fun to play with is self-sabotage wants: ruining romantic relationships and/or friendships, cheating, getting fired from work, taking very ill-advised risks, giving up a beloved animal for adoption, etc. People can make extraordinarily terrible decisions when miserable, and managing to pull a para out of a cycle of misery could potentially feel very rewarding. It can also create some organic drama.

    Besides wants, autonomous acting out could be fun too, especially from younger parafolk. Tantrums, destroying things, making messes, snapping at people they otherwise like. Maybe aging up to a teen or preteen could automatically come with a hit to condition because it’s a hard time in anyone’s life.

    I think needs, illnesses, life events (positive or negative), wants and fears and whether a para gets along with certain people (hating the people you live, work or go to school with will be miserable, and family-oriented parafolk could care a lot about their relationship to their relatives regardless of whether they live together). Maybe there could even be a measure of empathy- if someone your para likes is in bad shape, they feel a little worse too, but they can also get vicarious happiness. For parafolk who care about work and/or school, their performance in those could affect their condition greatly, with perfectionists and ambitious parafolk taking the worst hits if they’re not doing well. Perhaps how important school is to a child-teen para’s Condition would depend on their parents- is school super important to them and they demand excellent grades, or are they super lax about it (or anything in between)? Failing to meet loved ones’ expectations for you can be crushing, while making them proud or surpassing those expectations can feel amazing.

    Condition and Minor Parafolk- Here Comes the Social Worker

    I think a young para’s Condition stat could be a good metric for whether and when they get taken away for neglect. Skipping a single meal can elicit social worker warnings in the Sims games, which seems a little overkill. I think using Condition would be a more holistic approach to measuring how well a young para has been cared for and whether they’ve been neglected enough to be taken away.

    I’ll concede that life events complicate this. It would hardly be fair for a young para to be taken away just because grandma died and they’re upset. Perhaps there could be a little bit of a grace period for things a parent couldn’t reasonably control. Let’s say losing a loved one is -50 to Condition. When considering whether to take away a child with that moodlet, the game will add +50 to the overall Condition score to cancel out the effect of the death. They could still be taken away if they’re neglected in other ways. Their true Condition is also unaffected, so they could still act out over the death, which I feel is realistic. As ridiculous Jim Pickens fodder as an exploit where you can neglect a young para indefinitely by murdering random neighbors in front of them would be…

    I also have a thought as to a more realistic way to implement social workers. One method could be making parafolk give their children the occasional (free, maybe) doctor’s visit for checkups. If the child doesn’t show up for a checkup within a certain amount of time, a social worker drops by for a welfare check. If the children are in decent condition, the social worker will simply remind you to schedule their appointment and leave them. If they’re in bad condition, they get taken. If a child goes to the appointment in bad condition, the doctor reports it and the child is taken.

    For older children, school can also serve this function. Various workers at the school notice a child in bad condition and are mandated reporters. If a child or teen fails to show up to school at all, the parents are in trouble.

    Also, if children are taken into public, non-evil bystanders might report children with low Condition to CPS. Evil bystanders may instead blackmail the parents.

    Thus, you can’t really get away with seriously neglecting children in the game, but social workers don’t magically know your child para missed a meal.

    bailey replied 2 years, 9 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • I like this idea a lot. I think it makes sense to have an overall condition for Paras that can be influenced in major and minor ways, but without completely changing their daily mood.

    Posted May 12, 2021 at 5:30 pm

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