I suppose before I can get into the details of births, adoptions, not-so-random townies, and deaths I must first go back to the cause of these changes. I do have several townie population control mods which, for the most part, work perfectly for my current gameplay. But, there is a snag in this system. While they might make an unplayed household fill rolls like mailman, gardener, scout walkby, etc. there is no way that they can prevent two of the household types from being generated because, in the end, these are determined by the current save’s population. These types are filter_ages_children and filter_ages_teen. Which, all things considered, might not be the worst thing in other instances but in my neighborhood structure where everyone knows everyone and they all have at least basic personality profiles and are matched based on a chemistry equation using those profiles things get tricky. Not to mention the fact that I give every single sim in the neighborhood makeovers.
So, after days of testing I have (hopefully) determined the magic number to be 15 children and 14 teens needed in the save at all times to prevent new random generation. This revelation led to me sequestering myself in my office for about 15 hours doing calculations that used up half a notebook and several spreadsheets. The results are, to be frank, disappointing. I have said from the very start that it is my goal to keep the population down to a minimum. This just isn’t possible. I’ve limited the current residents to one to two children each and even made it extremely difficult to have children out of fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle a large population. I’ve even gone to the point of trying to adopt in ages that are close to other children to give a better chance of them being matched in the future to limit the need to make new townie households. It’s all for naught. A completely useless endeavor the only bright side of which is that we got to bond more strongly with the original residents these first two Turnings.
In addition to my regular age chart, I have a second, identical, chart with the ages of the children that will need to be born to keep to the 15/14 goal. This is what has changed everything. The first thought was to create an orphanage and add the children as they were marked to be born if none of my sims had already given birth that “day.” But, upon further thought, I realized this would be too emotionally difficult knowing there were all of these babies and toddlers with no homes and I’d end up swooping in and filling my households with them. The next plan was to do the regular adoption rolls at the time they should be born and only create them at the 5-year mark when they’d be needed and then put them in an orphanage. Still, I pictured myself seeing all of these children and, once again, filling my homes with them! What to do to keep my sanity while filling all of these empty spots? Finally, I think I’ve figured it out! And so, I give you the new plan…
I’ve been floundering from the start to think of random occurrence scenario rolls for Ash Shore. Most examples I found were for occurrences that didn’t really fit into this world that I’ve built. Well, I’ve finally found a use for them! I’ve tried to be as clinical and detached regarding these future children as possible. This may sound cruel but really, until they are actually conceived/born/created via CAS they’re just numbers on a chart. Like someone might imagine their future 2.5 children, dog, picket fence life. My chart has ages for them from conception on. Until they are physically added to the save they are just N1, N2, N3, etc. Detachment to keep me from, and this was my first knee-jerk reaction, getting every single sim in the save pregnant to fill the spaces. Cruel perhaps but I feel this will also give a better diversity. On to the rolls.
- A matched, unplayed, townie couple is discovered pregnant.
- A played couple of child-bearing age tries for a baby.
- Someone’s adoption is approved.
- Depending on if there are any single/unmatched sims there will also be random rolls for a single pregnant sim with compatible chemistry moving in, one of the unmatched unplayed sims suddenly eloping after discovering a pregnancy with an unknown sim, or if there are no single sims a small chance that a pregnant couple arrives in town.
You may be asking yourself at this point what happens if nobody gives birth to or rolls to adopt one of these needed children? If at the age they should be 5 and thus a child if there is a household who could adopt them, likely an unplayed townie household, I’ll do their birth roll and they will be created via CAS genetics and moved in with them. If there are no households they would be a good fit with they will be created as above but moved into town with their birth parents or if there is a single available sim in the neighborhood perhaps one parent of compatible chemistry with the single sim moves to town. Either way, they will be given some sort of backstory. And thus the not-so-random townies live on to an extent, the gene pool is increased, and another unplayed sim is possibly added to the random pregnancy rolls depending on their age.
Yes, all of this is very complicated and technical. But, hopefully, it will seem natural in the context of gameplay as I do not plan to mention the rolls themselves in any chapters. One unplanned bonus to this is a larger pool of potential chemistry matches. I’m also hoping that the larger population will allow me to focus more on whoever I’m currently playing without guilt that I’m paying no attention to the other families. At some future point, likely by the Fourth Turning, it will be impossible to even consider equal treatment.
I’m also trying to think up some other fun ROS rolls like a crafted item having double the value to the city… I’m still trying to think some up for that.
The death decision
If you’ve been reading my stuff for quite some time you should know already that I struggle immensely with death. I’ve also stated that around the time of the time-jump I decided to change my way of determining lifespan and chance of death. I’ve come up with a reasoning to coincide with this decision which I will include on the Third Turnings Changes post.
Deaths are determined by, for lack of a better term, a lottery. At their age mentioned above, they will be added to the lottery. Each “day” that they exceed that age they will be given a number of “tickets.” Certain things can add time onto a sim’s life by giving them a negative number of tickets. High wellness or fitness skill, certain traits, number of whims and satisfaction points, having a pet companion, a long marriage, good relationships, etc. On the other side of the coin, certain traits and life events may add more tickets. This does leave played sims at a bit of an advantage in some cases like whims but not all. For example, there is the My Temple club where sims work out, the items at school, the items at the park. And traits are a random roll no matter what household they are in.
I’ve made an age-range for childbearing that not only coincides with the death roll guaranteeing grandparents will see their grandchildren into at least half of the toddler stage but also adding a gap of time between aging to young adult and when they’d be added to pregnancy rolls and such. Beyond all of the rolls and restrictions, there is still the chance of an autonomous pregnancy adding to the randomness.
So, those are the changes as they stand right now. I’ve already started the ROS rolls with a large one for the start of the Turning which you’ll see the results of in the Family First chapter. Despite my original upset which you’ll likely detect while reading this I am extremely pleased with the results of that first roll.