NewbieJuly 24, 2019 at 1:16 amHub Points50
I talked about this on the discord but I want to put it out here again in a more “permanent” way. While we have “households” in the sims, I think something different, that I have called “control groups” may work better in Paralives.
((Don’t feel obligated to read this part here, it’s just a disclaimer : I may make comparisons to the sims in this post, since there isn’t many other games to compare with when discussing this mechanic. That said, I think comparing and bringing ideas from other games, not just the sims, is beneficial to creating something likable and unique, but that’s just not something I am doing in this particular post.))
The basic idea, is you have this very fluid set of characters to control and explore with. While characters are in this group, their autonomy is limited. They will not make big live decisions like quitting jobs or having children without prompt while in this group. You can remove a parafolk from this group at any time with a “remove from control group” action, and you can add a character to the group at any time with an “add to control group” action. That said, you will be able to control all of the actions that they DO do while they are in your control group, and you can easily switch between them.
Why a mechanic like this?
1. It allows the player to seamlessly switch from character to character and family to family without much hassle. A simple “remove all parafolk from control group” action or command cheat will remove all characters from the group of course, without having to remove them individually.
2. While the player may have a main family, they might also interact with other parafolks, and it could be helpful, if say, a group of friends are together at a venue, to be able to control all of them in order to maximize the characters and the players fun. But, of course if the player doesn’t want this, they dont have to control others.
3. You can control every parafolk that lives in the same house, or only some of them, but you can also control characters who live separately. This will help to add realism, since many couples and families live in separate houses, and often people have roommates who do spontaneous things that we can not just control. You can also control NO ONE and just watch what happens in the town.
This fluidity of control leaves a lot more potential for spontaneity and creativity in the players world, than in the sims, for example, where you are restricted usually to one household, and have to go through loading screens in order to switch between them. It’s not very seamless.
Moreover, there will have to be some set coding/features in order to insure that a feature like this would be functional and not be frustrating for the player:
1. While in the sims 4, with a cheat you can easily add another sim to your household, this changes the place the character actually lives. In Paralives, parafolks should have a set place that they live unless a decision or occurrence in the game causes them to move homes. The control group should not have any effect on where each parafolk returns to home at the end of the day.
2. If there is a complex AI for Parafolks, allowing them to have children or find jobs and move homes or spend lots of money without player input, this should obviously be removed for the control group to a degree, so they don’t make spontaneous big decisions without the players input.
3. In the sims 4, you play in a household, and you control the sims who live there and their money. This makes it easy to know how much money you have, and where it’s going to come from if you make a purchase. Obviously, with a feature like this where you may control many different parafolks from many different homes, or no parafolk at all, money will have to work differently as well. It cannot just rely on the characters you control at the time, because that may not always make much sense. There are two ways this could go, each household has a sum of funds, but this may cause issues if two characters of the same household are not controlled by the player: a “roommate” may blow all the funds at random with a complex AI, so that leaves one option: each individual character has their own individual funds, with perhaps an easy way to transfer money so couples can share funds and parents can share with their children. Or maybe there is a setting where the player decides for theirselves, or joint bank accounts could be a feature as well. There are many different options with benefits and downsides, but I personally think the personal funds would work the best with this feature.
Thanks if you made it all the way down here! I know it was probably a lot to read, apologies for any spelling or general errors. Honestly, I’m just into this idea and I think a lot of you might be too. Let me know what you think! Feel free to ask me questions if you would like me to clarify some of my thoughts! I just wanted to get this idea out there since I’m into it and who knows, maybe it will influence the game in some way? I don’t know, but something as basic as how you control the world and play the game is super important for the originality and likability of a game, and I haven’t seen too many ideas on it, because I think a lot of people just assume the controls will be the same as the sims, which I personally would think is lame. It would just give the game the same feeling I think! Anyway, thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts 🙂 Also, keep an eye on the forums for my username, because soon I would like to make a post on my thoughts on “Needs” and “Moodlets” how I think they should work in Paralives. Seeya!3+
ParafolkJuly 25, 2019 at 12:23 amHub Points794
Interesting idea. What if you could also add “routines” to the Pals. Doesn’t have to be anything too arduous, something simple like visits the gym 3 times a week after work. Maybe goes to the movies every second Saturday night and the local pub on the other Saturday. Goes for a walk/jog each morning/evening. It could be a daily/weekly routine or maybe even set to X number of times per week. This way, even those in your control group, would be living out their lives in a meaningful way without you having to direct every action.2+
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