‘NPC’ Careers as Active Careers
Active careers in life simulators are adored, especially if they are well thought out. Sadly, those we have seen in the past didn’t really have a place in their own worlds, so events had to be spawned to keep the player busy, and it breaks the immersion. However, there are jobs which are fun and challenging to play, and blend so well into the world that they’ve been hidden before our eyes the entire time. NPC jobs: maids, gardeners, babysitters, social workers, police, criminals, maintenance workers… The people who carry the neighborhood and make it work.
Paralives would be doing something completely new if it released with mainly ‘NPC’ jobs. If we see the maid who was our avatar one household switch ago, sweeping the floors and doing the dishes in the present household. If having a job actually influenced the world, and having an open world actually brought the people living in it together, rather than just vanishing off the edge to live out their non-existent routines and return with a paycheck in their pocket.
Example of functioning NPC careers:
A Parafolk woman takes a job as a maid. To go to work, she has to travel to the building where the maid service center is hosted. Here she can find everything she needs to train and become better at her craft, and the carpool to take her from one house to another. She will also find a board which lists all the people currently looking for a maid to come in on a daily basis excluding weekends, and she can choose which houses, and thus which hours, she will be taking. That way she can choose to take it easy but get lower pay, or to hardly have any free time at all.
At the beginning of the day she gets a list of objectives. Some of them are singular actions, like washing the windows in one particular house, while some of them involve multiple actions, like cleaning an entire house. Her overall performance is measured by how many objectives she completed. Her performance is also measured per house, and her first day’s work may determine whether the employer will actually hire her on a permanent basis or not. Sometimes she will be given the opportunity to do some once-off jobs, like cleaning a house belonging to a regular at an irregular time, or a completely different house just once.
Not every employer will treat her well- some will flirt with her, some will give her an unfair amount of work, some will never be satisfied but also never fire her, and some will keep dumping their kids on her. In the same way, not every maid will be a hard worker that will satisfy their employer. The entire process is the same for someone who is hiring a maid, excluding adding additional objectives to the maid’s list. The maid’s schedule will be followed even if the household is switched, and they can be hired by the new active household and be seen going about their workday.
A career like a firefighter will function much the same, except that they will have many more objectives and things to do at the station, since they will only need to leave it during the rare emergency. Fires and earthquakes will not be spawned for the sake of giving them something to do, but will happen organically through the activity of Parafolk living in the neighborhood, including the active household.