Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Aging, Seasons, and Groundhog Day?

Warning: This is going to be a massive post. I haven't been posting much but I have been working a lot of things out in my head, and I'm now ready to share them with you.

Ever since Seasons was officially announced, I have been trying to figure out how I want to incorporate aging and seasons into my hood. If you remember when I was doing the TS2 version of this blog, I had given my Sims actual ages based on the initial number of days left in their age stage. I've been wanting to do the same with TS3.

A Sim-Year
I was inspired by a great post from Rachel at New Rochelle, and I will be following her model with a few changes. Like Rachel, my Sim-Years will last forty-eight days, and I will play each family for four days which is a Sim month. I really like the idea of playing them for four days. A week is too long for me to play in a single play session, and only playing them for a day wasn't always giving me enough substance for a post. Four days is the perfect medium. I will set my seasons to be twelve days each which is equivalent to three months. I will set the lunar cycle to twelve days also. It really should only be four days, but I don't want to deal with the full moon that often, so twelve days works better for me. I have also installed Rachel's 36-day pregnancy mod, so that Sim pregnancies will be nine months long. Instead of using Story Progression's TS2-style aging option, I am going to leave aging on.

My lifespan will be set as follows (1 Sim day = 1 week):

Baby - 24 days  (0 to 6 months)
Toddler - 168 days  (6 months to 4 years)
Child -  384 days (4 years to 12 years)
Teen - 336 days (12 years to 19 years)
Young Adult - 1008 days (19 years to 40 years)
Adult - 1440 days (40 years to 70 years)
Elder - minimum of 240 days (elders will live at least to age 75)

I was able to create this life span using Laura's wonderful tutorial. Incidentally, this is my Long lifespan. In my Short lifespan, 1 Sim day = 1 year. In my Medium lifespan, 1 Sim day = 1 season (three months). In my Normal lifespan, 1 Sim day = 1 month. And, in my Epic lifespan, 1 Sim day = 1 day! Once I have tested the mod thoroughly, I may offer it for download.

In addition to having an actual birth year, my sims will also have a birth month based on their astrological sign:

Capricorn - January
Aquarius - February
Pisces - March
Aries - April
Taurus - May
Gemini - June
Cancer - July
Leo - August
Virgo - September
Libra - October
Scorpio - November
Sagittarius - December

A note on University...
If you watched Maxis's October 9th broadcast, then you know Producer Ryan pretty much confirmed that University is the next expansion pack for The Sims 3. I don't know how University is going to work or if they are going to introduce a new life stage. For now, I am planning that the first four years of young adulthood (ages 19, 20, 21, and 22) will correspond to the Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years of University. I have installed Twallan's Careers mod and Rachel's custom majors to simulate University for now. I am sure I will have to re-visit this when the expansion pack ships.

A note about Fertility...
Since my Sims will be adults until age 70, I need a way to stop them from getting pregnant at unreasonable ages. When a Sim hits 40, I am going to block Twallan's Story Progression from getting them pregnant. Specifically, I am going to set the "Allow Pregnancy: Progression" setting to false, but leave the "Allow Pregnancy: Any" set as true. This will allow me to manually get them pregnant if they roll a wish for a baby or if they have the Surrounded by Family lifetime wish. However, at age 40, it will be presumed that the Sim underwent a fertility treatment, so the chance of twins and triplets will be higher and I will likely charge the family a fee. After age 45, I will also set "Allow Pregnancy: Any" to false, so that the Sim will not be able to get pregnant at all. (Judy Bunch will just barely make it because I think she will start off at age 45.)
Groundhog Day?
Well, now that I have devised this system (in addition to figuring out how to prevent the Face One Virus and stop my Sims from constantly switching partners), I really want to start over with Sunset Valley. I won't delete the posts I have already written, but once I have Seasons installed and all of my mods updated, I will be beginning again. It will be September 2000 in Sunset Valley. This will be the third time I've started this blog. The third time's the charm, right? Right????