Some Ideas about Chemistry:
One element I’d really like to see in this game is some depth in interpersonal relationships, including friendships and romantic relationships. The following are some ideas I had on how that could work:
One good way to handle relationships could be to have two different sliders that determine potential for different kinds of relationships. One slider is for physical attraction, and the other slider is for personal connection. Paras with high physical attraction but no personal connection might be easy to get into a short term, hot’n’heavy sorta relationship, but they’ll have a hard time staying together and might get bored of each other or fight. Paras with only a personal connection might hit it off as friends right away, but would be hard to get into a romantic relationship. However, paras who have both physical attraction and personal connection could make an amazing long term pair. There are three things that seem to me like they would affect these scales. Personalities might affect both, interests would affect personal connection, and physical traits would affect physical attraction.
If personality traits are done in such a way that there are opposing traits, for example if some paras are very grounded and others are free spirits, or if some are extremely agreeable and others are blunt and more to the point, that could be used as a metric for what sims would be attracted to each other. Maybe paras are attracted to people who have personalities different from theirs. For example if my para is introverted, maybe she’s attracted to someone who is middle of the road or extroverted. Or if she’s really cautious, maybe she wants someone who’s middle of the road or very adventurous. This would work well if certain personality traits are done with sliders as I’ve seen discussed. Or, there could just be traits to check boxes for to turn off and on, like you select to have a para who is cerebral, arrogant, introverted, and adventurous, or you select the traits of artistic, sweet, extroverted, and cautious. Some personality traits might only affect personal connection, while others such as friendliness, intelligence, and adventurousness could affect physical attraction as well.
If a part of paras’ personalities is their interests, like music, or yoga, or sports, or reading, maybe paras are attracted to people with the same interests as them. So if I make a para who loves scifi movies, yoga, and cooking, maybe she won’t get along as well with someone who’s only interested in documentaries, soccer, and clubbing. But if she meets someone who doesn’t care for scifi or yoga but loves cooking, then maybe there’s some connection there. And if this other person loves cooking and scifi, then they might hit it off famously. Complementary interests seems to me like it might not really affect physical attraction, but it would play a big role in personal connection.
The most important thing to affect physical attraction would be gender/sex. If my para is only attracted to men, then those are the only other paras who would even show up on her radar for physical attractiveness. However, if she can go for anyone, then everyone would show up on her radar. Paras of her preferred sex (if any) might be attractive based on player-determined likes and dislikes, kind of like those style box quizzes online. For example I might be asked if my para prefers no facial hair, a little facial hair, or a full beard, and how important that is to me in attraction. I might select a little facial hair and say that its not super important, and my para would like men with a little facial hair, but if a dude has a full beard it wouldn’t dock him too many points. or I could say no facial hair and it’s extremely important, in which case my para wouldn’t be attracted to men with full beards unless there was a lot of other stuff about them that was attractive to weigh it out. Some things to judge attractiveness on might be hair length and texture, facial hair, height, complexion and build.
One other possibility would be to have paras’ preferences change depending on their experience with other paras in-game. For example, if my para has good relationships with her family of blonde, tan, tall paras with no facial hair, then she might develop a preference for paras that have those traits. Maybe in the code, there could be a few big physical characteristics that get a point for being attractive if the para has a good relationship with someone who has that trait, or lose a point if the para has a bad relationship with someone who has that trait. Maybe start out with the player laying baseline attractions, and those might adjust slightly depending on the para’s experience with other paras.
Maybe style also plays a role in physical attraction. Perhaps the player selects a style or a few styles, like athleticwear, or business casual, or hippie that the para is attracted to, and any para who dresses in that style gets a little more attractive.