Disclaimer: Paralives is still in development, so the features mentioned in this article have not yet been confirmed, but are being discussed or considered by the creators. Therefore this content should be considered speculative.
What are chance cards?
In many simulation games, the player may be presented with a ‘random text event’ dialogue, sometimes referred to as a chance card. These chance cards usually give the player a scenario that is currently happening to your character off-screen, with various actions you can choose that determines the outcome.
A rough example of this might be, “Peter’s neighbours’ toilet has broken! She needs your help!”. Then you will choose to either fix it for a reward or ignore it. The trouble is you don’t usually see anything happen; it is usually left to your imagination.
Sometimes the event might not even make sense between both characters’ lifestyles or personality. That can sometime break the player’s immersion, which is kind of lame in a simulation game.
Over at Paralives’ official Patreon, the creator has started a poll and discussion about random text events, and is taking feedback positively. Many are suggesting that chance cards shouldn’t feel random or irrelevant to the situation. They should be meaningful.
Additionally, fans want to witness the events. Imagine if, for example, your neighbour’s toilet actually did break! It is common knowledge in town that your character just so happens to be handy. Wouldn’t it be cool if the troubled neighbour, who is hopeless, calls for your help?
You could perhaps choose to “refuse” this request, and your penalty would be a loss of relationship or reputation. Or you could choose to help your neighbour, then watch your character travel to their house and repair the toilet. Maybe stay for coffee? Looks like they gained a new friend, and hey, you got some cash too! Awesome.
What about devious characters? Perhaps their personality type could unlock a new choice for this chance card. “Sabotage their toilet”. This could trigger a very negative response from your neighbour, but maybe your character revels in this? It would add so much depth!
Watching such events happen in the game world, impacting the lives of little virtual people, and the situations making sense between both characters; these are all elements of what an immersive life simulation could be.