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Paralives Hub Forums General Ideas Para personalities – alternatives to ‘traits’

  • Para personalities – alternatives to ‘traits’

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    I’m going to bring up Sims here – I know Paralives is not trying to be a replacement for any other game but Sims is currently our main frame of reference for simulation games, hence the comparison.

    Personality traits in the Sims feel two dimensional. They’re basically just behaviour modifiers – a hot headed sim will get angry more often, a good sim will become sad when interacting with evil sims, etc. Paradoxically, traits don’t really tell you much about a sim. They don’t gain traits because of their past experiences, nor will a sim with the book lover and loner traits be characterised by the game as an introvert, for example.

    That’s why I hope Paralives just forgets about whatever has been done in other simulation games and takes a completely new approach to personalities. There are literally infinite ways to describe people’s personalities, so no need to rely on traits.

    What if we could choose our parafolk’s Myers-Briggs types? Or place them on sliding personality scales (e.g. between introvert and extrovert, wanting to fit in vs wanting to be unique, being assertive vs complacent, etc). Personalities could be dependent on what is important to your para or what they fear.

    It would also add a layer of realism to social interaction if we had compatible and clashing personality types.

    Anyway, I would love to hear other people’s ideas about how Parafolk personalities could work!Blush

    Just.A.Finch replied 3 years, 4 months ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • It’s been ages since I’ve talked about this, but I like sliders. I was talking to someone about this a while ago and we talked about having traits or behaviours as a result of where you left the slider, and separate categories for “talents” and “interests” that are generated as a result of your sliders but can be re-rolled. Other people like the idea of traits and “flaws” but I think that’s too two-dimensional as you were saying, and a bit sim-centric especially since they did it in The Sims Medieval. Myers-Briggs is interesting, I’m not sure all of the attributes would work practically in the game, but I would really like an introversion to extroversion slider.

    Posted May 20, 2020 at 4:00 am
    • Love the idea of talents and interests, especially ones based on your personality choices. It would make the para seem more multifaceted and I think it would be easy to implement in gameplay as well (talents = stuff your para is good at, skills = stuff they are more likely to do/talk about).

      Posted May 20, 2020 at 4:27 pm
  • I could be wrong, but I think one of the devs said they wouldn’t use a Myers-Briggs approach because it wouldn’t translate well into a game, but I may be thinking of something else they were talking about.

    Either way, I know they’ve asked/spoken about the possibility of personality being developed by a Para’s experience. Meaning you’d set a personality for them, and then based on what they do in their lives, they could gain new likes and dislikes.

    I personally would like that approach as it makes sense to me. If a Para grows up as a couch potato playing video games all day and dislikes going outside, but grows up to get an outdoorsy job, I’d expect their dislike of the outdoors to decrease (That or they hate their job :P). So I like the idea of a personality changing over time.

    I think sliders would be interesting and shouldn’t be all to hard to code, so I’m personally hoping for that. My only big thing with personalities is that I want them to be the same for all Parafolk of all ages (obviously with the exception of romance related personality characteristics).

    Posted May 20, 2020 at 2:07 pm
    • I didn’t realise the devs might have brought it up already, thanks for the info.

      I do see where they’re coming from with the Myers-Briggs – it wouldn’t actually be my preferred system either. It’s a start, but few people fit perfectly into one MBTI type or another, so it might feel a bit restrictive. I was throwing the idea out there because there are only limited ways a computer can simulate personality, so a system with 16 categories might seem varied enough without overloading the game.

      Also, I really do hope Parafolks’ personalities develop based on experiences! Seems kind of strange to have a life simulator without character development after all.

      Posted May 20, 2020 at 4:38 pm
      • Actually, that might have been he reason they gave. I think they said not everyone fits the 16 personality types perfectly so they’d prefer a different system. Same with zodiac signs.

        I do think some elements of the Myers-Brigs test could work well though. Like someone could be an introvert, but there is a scale of how introverted they are.

        Posted May 20, 2020 at 5:50 pm
    • I like the idea of paras traits changing with life experience as well, partly because I think it would help personalities have more depth at the same time as not restricting the player. If we decided at the beginning, this character is going to be an introvert, and dislikes such and such, and is really assertive and not creative but very smart, and if personalities affect how a para lives, then it might start to get in the way of the choice of the player a little bit down the line, depending on how much influence personalities have. I don’t really know where the balance should fall because I’ve not played anything where personalities have a real impact on the characters in game, so I don’t know how it would pan out. I’m sure it’s something they’re playing around with a lot to get right and I don’t really know what the best answer is. It’s tricky, to be sure.

      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:20 pm

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