Aging Characters and New Generations.

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Ananome, May 16, 2016.

  1. Ananome

    Ananome Intergalactic Tourist

    I think in the future updates it will be great to see our characters get old so do the people of the valley. For more dynamism, old characters will eventually die and new generation will appear.
    Let other bachelor and bachelorettes marry each other too.

    Sorry newbie here, but I think it'd be great to see these suggestions in the game.
     
    • ssokolow

      ssokolow Scruffy Nerf-Herder

      It's been suggested before. My main issue with it was that, if implemented incautiously, it would drive people like me to use cheat engine to periodically rewind time because "In games with sandbox elements where I've poured a lot of effort in, the game ends when I say it does, dammit!"

      (That's why I never forgave the original Harvest Moon for SNES as a kid.)
       
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      • ChaosAzeroth

        ChaosAzeroth Existential Complex

        This made me cry in a wonderful life.
        You have to basically screw with your kid to keep playing form what I hear. As soon as they figure out what they want to be you're dead. 3:
        ((Was even worse in that though cause the seed mixing in ch 2 and the seasons being short as well as forcing you to marry by the end of year one. So this wouldn't be that bad to be fair.))

        I think that would take a lot more programing too, IDK. I mean even in Rune Factory 2 where you become your kid and all the content is there the villagers stay the same.

        I heard in Tree of Tranquility you can eventually have new game plus you play as your kid. ((I'm not sure if that's true or what tbh.)) If it was more like a new game+ and you choose to that would be more fair I think? If the programing wouldn't be an issue that is.
         
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        • Ananome

          Ananome Intergalactic Tourist

          Yes, that's more like it. An a new game+ is great too and or at least make a limit like in a wonderful life when your child reach maturity you should retire, not necessarily die and the game can end. This game is so fun and would be more awesome if added some immersive elements like that (aging, change of environment etc). I'm no programmer but I guess yeah that will take a lot of effort.
           
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          • Ghostly Fox

            Ghostly Fox Giant Laser Beams

            If we're talking new game+, I think that Harvest Moon Animal Parade did it best. The earliest you can do it is after the bulk of the game has been completed (bells, marriage, kids) and it's part of a quest line that you have to actively choose to pursue, so you can't accidentally kick yourself out of a file you aren't done with (as I remember, anyway.) You also got to choose the type of bonus you wanted to carry over to the new game, I think through money, tools, or other items? Plus, since you don't play as your child, despite them being the method behind the new game +, you don't have to keep track of what file came from where to avoid marrying your own father/mother the way it works in Animal Parade is essentially a time loop/parallel timeline.

            Also, I'd personally prefer to avoid the heartache of Evelyn, George, Willy, Linus, and Lewis, dying, as they are most at risk as the oldest villagers.
             
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            • Ananome

              Ananome Intergalactic Tourist

              It's true that's kinda sad to see them removed from the game, however if a change of sprites portraits and in world sprites is possible at least it will make the game more immersive.
               
              • ThitPoulsen

                ThitPoulsen Subatomic Cosmonaut

                Yeah i would personally love to see aging in this game and it would also mean having kids would be more immersive as well because theyd grow up and you could potentially give them chores around the farm to teach them some values and how to continue running the place when you die and then you could choose which kid to play as when you die. i think thatd be cool. or when you retire even. this way i could keep playing in the same save for much longer and i wouldnt have to restart all the time. i wouldnt mind if some of the elder villagers die as long as its not in the first few years. dont let anyone die off until at least year 3-5. that way you still have time to get to know them and it will make the characters more valuable as well. and seeing the singles in the town be able to get married and have kids would be nice as well because if you pick up on dialog clues most of them have crushes on each other and its sorta sad that when youve picked your spouse and you get to have kids and a great life for yourself, all the singles in the town just.. stay single forever. and poor little penny will have to live in that trailer forever x.x
                 
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                • Ananome

                  Ananome Intergalactic Tourist

                  This! that was the reason I married Penny lol, so sad seeing her lives in a trailer with her alcoholic mother. Yes the idea of restarting the game is already a letdown, if the MC have children then make the children able to help ( bcs the farm work is so tiring lol ) and take over the farm someday and your spouses don't do much. Even in harvest moon BTN the bachelor and bachelorettes marry each other, this would be good for this game too and won't make everyone seems immortal.

                   
                  • Ghostly Fox

                    Ghostly Fox Giant Laser Beams

                    I'm going to add that for games where a character dies or moves it, in he Harvest Moon franchise, people seem to not like hat since it basically removed a chunk of the 'sandbox' format of the game. I think that it would cause similar issues with SDV, to be honest. Especially since it means that you have to decide whether you want to put in the effort to befriend a character who is going to die- which essentially means that eiher all your effort was pointless or there has to be an incentive to make it with, which then makes people feel like they have to befriend them.

                    I personally think that, if showing time progression is really such a big deal (though, considering the issues caused by the "Grandfather's Judgement Day" fiasco, I think people seem to prefer the lack of deadlines) I would say that having the unmarried bachelors and bachelorettes pair off an have kids that grow to the same age as Jas/Vincent would make the most sense- the Farmer's kids getting to around that same age would also make sense. That said, even pairing off the romance options has issues, since, due to the lack of 'secret' romance options, someone will always be stuck single.

                    Maybe characters schedules could change over time. Maru could travel to science displays twice a year, Sam's band could go to gigs at certain times of the year, Leah could go to art displays, Penny could move out of the trailer, etc. Maybe even have new characters build businesses in town if you meet certain criteria after so many years.

                    I've just yet to see a version of the time progression/player character's child take over farm thing done well. It's always seemed as if the games that have it force you into a 'rush' mode, which defeats the point of a 'laid back sandbox country life simulator,' in my opinion- especially if one of the deadlines is the death of a character or of the player character them self, which always comes across as ham-handed when I've seen it done. Due in part to the fact that once a character moves away or dies, it's always been like the town forgot they ever existed. Maybe it could be done well, but I haven't seen it done in a way that is t heavy handed, awkward, or jarring when compared to the pace the games are aiming for.
                     
                    • mrobake

                      mrobake Zero Gravity Genie

                      The problem with aging character is that you have got to make new characters, new events, and probably new mechanics.

                      Wouldnt it be weird if your family is the only people that get old. The immersion level would get dropped a lot. And applying new mechanics will have to completely rewritten a new game. Like who will replace Pam should she retired? Or who would take care Pierre's shop if Abigail refused to continue the legacy? And if some old people passed away, wouldnt the city feel empty withour newcomers? But if we add newcomer, then we would need to add even more concersation scripts, personality, and background.
                       
                      • ChaosAzeroth

                        ChaosAzeroth Existential Complex

                        Depending how much it might not even be noticeable though. I wouldn't take my word for it though, I'm 31 and can still be mistaken for a 12 year old by some people apparently so...x3
                         
                        • Ananome

                          Ananome Intergalactic Tourist


                          Yes I think beside it make more sense... it's also more feasible since probably the developer wouldn't need to have a total make over. To be honest I want to see my children grow as a teenager and see the bachelors and bachelorettes paired and have children of their own. Besides once we finish all the quests what there's to do? at least a change in environment, NPCs etc would make the game more interesting. Is there any chance of expansion btw beside an update?
                           
                          • Ananome

                            Ananome Intergalactic Tourist

                            This can be done through expansion right? or updates? CMIIW
                             
                            • NikkSword

                              NikkSword Pangalactic Porcupine

                              I like the idea of you and your children slowly growing older. Maybe sooner or later the characters all have kids, and the kids are just re-colors of the original villagers? Maybe some random changes to clothes and random names
                               
                              • ThitPoulsen

                                ThitPoulsen Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                I could live with this as long as you can mod them like normal xD cuz then the mod community can basically do it to their own tastes
                                 
                                • Ghostly Fox

                                  Ghostly Fox Giant Laser Beams

                                  I'm not trying to be derisive or pick a fight, but I'm honestly wondering why teenager seems to be the age people want to be the cap? I mean, people aren't happy about the people in game that could pass for teenagers as is, even post development. What age is even considered a 'teenager'? Where I live, people start being considered a teen at age thirteen. Other places you aren't a teen until you're sixteen.

                                  Plus, 'growing slowly' by SDV standards seems compress the almost ten months of pregnancy into two weeks. What about stopping growth at a younger age and having potions that you could give to kids (your own for sure, maybe the other villager's kids)? They could function like the 'grow up' candy from one of the more recent Harvest Moon games. It could turn the kid(s) who drink it into 'teenager' forms. Which will help avoid the question of "why is my kid almost an adult and I'm still in my twenties, and everyone else the same age I met them at" and also avoid the answer of "have to make aged variants of all townsfolk and figure out how to apply aging to a character that doesn't have a set appearance."

                                  Maybe time could even travel for them each time you give them a potion? As in the kids would observe time in a straight line, and talk about things that happen(ed) in the future. They could talk about certain things, like... Marnie and Lewis getting married for example, but it doesn't happen in the present- it gets experienced through 'flash forward' scenes that are always after the point you stop playing the game. (For a sort of example, think the Ten Year Bazooka from KHR! Only no concerns about causality screwing up the future... though maybe overuse of the potions could have an effect of kind? Nothing that would lock the player into having to do some part of the game they don't want to.)

                                  This way there's the utility and uniqueness of teenage kids but without the issue with A(nother) Wonderful Life where you could have perfect rapport with your son, husband, and the entire village, and your teenage son would still randomly snap and... basically act out the worst traits of all the younger romance options. The way I see it, the kids could start doing chores around the point they are the approximate age of Jas and Vincent, and the magical item/consumable makes them into a teenager. While in the teenager state, they could do chores better or maybe do two chores a day. Maybe the Farmer could influence the personality of their kid by answering questions that are asked at different junctions in the child's growth.

                                  Palette swaps also seem a little... well, boring for the kids, if the point is to make the town more alive. I think Animal Parade might have one of the better representations of other couples having kids (maybe only? Memory is fuzzy on that part for other games). They all had kids that looked similar to both parents but not must patchwork combos of their traits. I also think that the kids would interact a fair amount? I think there were even a few crushes amount the preteen kids. They all had unique personalities and appearances, IIRC. The same could be done with SDV, since the chances of CA letting us freely match the unchosen up is unlikely. Each couple gets ~two kids, and the spare romance option adopts a kid, if they're the kind of person to want to raise a kid by themself. (I can't really see Alex, Shane, or Penny trying to, at least.)

                                  My biggest issue with the kids growing past a certain point is that it is jarring at best, and would leave some major headaches to work around that could take forever to make them make sense in he concept of the game.

                                  Also, it just occurred to me, but another issue with time progressing more than a few years would probably require months (if not years) of writing new dialogue, writing new events, possibly expanding the town, locking players out of old events (doesnt make sense for Abigail to be chewed of by her parents for her behavior if she's... let's go with her being in tour with Sam's band. Or for Alex to still talk about how he's going to be a professional gridball player when he's in his thirties. Emily not having expanded her tailoring hobby to a job would be surprising. Emily and Haley's parent would have to be created so they could come back to Pelican Town. If the player went the Joja route, the chances of the company not starting to tear the town's surroundings apart is almost zero. The Community Center route would need to have some sort of effect on the town. The way aging would probably work would mean the kid likely jumping in age once or twice a month.... but the Farmer would have the same crops in the same place they did a 'year' ago? Would the characters pairing off be done without the player knowing? Would it just be like walking into town and *BAM* Sam and Penny are married with a kid on the way?


                                  Summary: I see a lot of issues with the kids aging past a certain point, if they're supposed to show the growth and change in the town and the people. Pairing off the love interests and them having kids would add a sense lf progress. I that I think it would be best to just make the kids stop growing at Jas and Vincent's age, and implement a magical tem that would make them teenagers for a period of time. Both child and teen offspring do chores, but the teen could have a buff to chores. Each romance option set could have kids with unique looks and personalities. Farmer's kids could pull appearance wise from a random pool, be customizable or randomly choose between each detail on the Farmer's sprite and that of their spouse. The shorter the amount of time that supposedly has passed, the fewer changes that would need to be made for immersion sake. Ideally there would be a way to make the time passing trigger if the player chose not to get married and/or have kids, especially since- as it stands now- there are already things walled behind marriage and kids, but it would have to be designed so you can't trigger it on accident.

                                  /End Text Wall of Doom
                                  There is my way over thought idea picking for now. I really need to stop making these big 'ol posts when I am essentially dead on my feet, my Grammar and spelling get shot in the knee caps and my tablet throws a fit every few words. Kudos and thank you to anyone that actually read the whole thing instead of skipping to the summary.
                                   
                                  • GreenWombat

                                    GreenWombat Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                    I don't have a link but CA mentioned this is something he wouldn't do as it would just be to much work to have to set things up to accommodate an entire second generation growing up.
                                     
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                                    • Tallglassofwater

                                      Tallglassofwater Poptop Tamer

                                      It doesn't have to be sad! There is a game called rogue legacy that whenever you die you start again as one of three siblings. It could be like a hardcore mode where you have to "craft" (LOL) a family in order to have some sort of continuation after you die. While you are playing your character their children are always children and once you "die" time fast forwards aging all children in existence to adults: vis-a-vis you choose your pick of whatever children you have to inherit your "player characterness"! this could be sooooo cool
                                       
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                                      • Tallglassofwater

                                        Tallglassofwater Poptop Tamer

                                        the real question is how would it work for different species, and then modded species too. Would it be easy to make a DIY template to add mod race reproduction? Or do things like slimes, which I imagine clone themselves; need entirely different mechanics from mammals or reptiles? or would it all just be spawn child commands from different kinds of actions/objects? This is like a frackin-races-type-idea. I don't know how to mod at all, but this is the kinda idea I'd consider learning for if I wasn't doing it alone..
                                         
                                          Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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                                        • plagueborn667

                                          plagueborn667 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                          I personally like the idea of a new game plus where u get to make what ur kid looks like as an adult and you keep the farm with the town being the next generation. You just get to use ur old save file for the data. That way you can play and level a new character (Maybe with different abilities?) when ur actually done playing and thus aren't forced to end it.
                                           

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