Wednesday, 23 September 2009

A note about aging and the Sullivan calendar

Seeing I have finally fine-tuned the aging system in Sullivan to be exactly as I like it (heavily based on the aging system at Lakeside Heights), I thought I would revise my shamefully outdated aging post. If you still want to read that one, it's here. I think most long-term readers will have already picked up what I'm doing as we've gone along. With my StatCounter though, I noticed I'm getting a lot of page views on that old aging post and I think some readers out there might be confused!

My rounds represent two years of real-life time, so Sims get two years older each round. I track time by months. Each month features 1 or 2 regular family updates. Some months will also feature a birthday update (which occur exactly one year after birth for babies aging to toddler but only in January for all other age stages). University updates for students living on campus are always in March. Occasionally, I might have a special mini-update for a wedding or another special event I might want to cover outside of the confines of a regular update. Those could occur in any month.

My age stages have been adjusted from the default to make this system work better for me.

The baby stage lasts just one day, to represent one year.

Toddlers
have four days, representing ages 1-4.

Children have 7 days, representing ages 5-11. Round 21 will be the first time I age Sims to teen at 12, rather than 13 as I've done previously. My high school is Grades 7-12 and I started Grade 7 at 12, so it's just what makes sense to me.

Teens have 6 days, representing ages 12-17. 18 as "adult" makes sense to me, seeing that's generally the age of majority, at least in Australia (where I live).

At 18, Sims will either enter the workforce or go to college. At 21, if they went to college, they'll complete their final year and 22 will mark their first round back in the main hood.

The adult stage lasts for 44 days if the Sim doesn't go to college (representing ages 18-61) and 40 days if they do go to college (representing ages 22-61). Why 61? I don't know. I decided my first-day elders were 62 so long ago that I can't remember. It made sense to me at the time though. Becoming an elder at 54 didn't - my parents are older than that and they don't look anything like the elders in TS2.

I have edited my elder stage in SimPE so that some Sims might live until their mid 60s and some might go well into their 90s (I've forgotten the exact parameters I set, but I'll update this if I ever remember to check!) I also removed the possibility of getting bonus days for high aspiration. All my Sims seem to end up perma-platinum by middle age so all my Sims would get the "bonus" days anyway.

Any questions or comments? Shoot!

22 comments:

  1. Makes sense to me! :)

    How did you remove the bonus for elders with high aspiration? Ideally, I'd like to do away with that bonus, and make the random elder range wider, like anywhere from 65-95. I don't like it being tied to aspiration though, because like you said, they're almost all permaplat by elderhood.

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  2. Laura, I changed the Gold Elder Bonus line to 0 (the last line).

    Looking at Inge's blurb on her site though, the last 5 lines all refer to aspiration bonuses. :\ To me, it looks like it might even be the last 6. It doesn't look like the values for some of these lines are days though. "Highest Aspiration"'s value is 70, which can't possibly be 70 days.

    None of my Sims seem to get more than 20 days but I'm still confused about these extra values. I'm going to have to do some more reading and experimenting, I think!

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  3. Me too, and then we'll compare notes, lol :)

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  4. With both of us working on it, hopefully we can figure it out.

    I just posted about it on N99, in the vague hope that someone will know what those values mean!

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  5. I just thought of something, comparing Inge's mod to the TwoJeffs mod - he took away the elder aspiration bonus and added an adult one instead. My guess is that those last lines refer to possible aspiration bonuses for each of the life stages? Maybe by comparing the two, we might see what the differences are...

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  6. OK, I looked at TwoJeff's mod and didn't see any differences between the tuning of Inge's hack and his. There's another section of his hack that doesn't exist in Inge's and I assume that is where he's adjusted the bonus.

    But Sim Blossom at N99 posted that 70 is the total lifespan. I didn't know what she meant at first but now I'm thinking she means it's the base total lifespan, without bonuses.

    Anyway, I haven't adjusted that but I did just try a little experiment. There are actually a whole bunch of lines referring to Elder Bonuses - Silver, Bronze, etc. I changed them all to 0 (I had already done this, but I completely missed it yesterday). I also changed the lifespan to 8 days minimum and maximum, so all Sims would get the same amount of days as an elder and I could test to see if they were getting any bonuses.

    So I made four test Sims, set them to Platinum, Gold, Green and Red aspiration. The Platinum, Gold and Green all aged to elder with 9 days left until death. The Red had 7 days left, because I left the bad aspiration bonus alone (it's -2).

    So that part appears to work. Aspiration level had no effect on how many days Sims were given to live as elders. I am still curious about that other line but I'm not sure how I can test it. I don't even know what I *want* to test about it.

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  7. Cool! Thank you for testing this out! I set my elder bonuses to 0 as well, and did a little testing (= killing off test elders, lol), and that appears to work. Their lifespan didn't seem to have anything to do with their aspiration. I even managed to get my big elder range (65-95). I tested about 10 elders and they died mostly in their 70s, but a couple knocked off at 67, a couple in their late 80s, and one lived to 95, lol!

    That's about the spread I was going for.

    And then after all this hard work, it looks like I only have two Sims transitioning to elder in the next 10 Sim-years, and you know at my pace I'll probably never get through another 10 Sim-years, lol!

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  8. My next elders don't age up for a while either (Summer 2017, to be exact - for anyone reading in the future, I'm in Summer 2013 as I write this) but there'll be 7 of them!

    I'm thinking I might widen my age range too. 65 to 95 sounds good! 82 is really quite young to die, at least in my family! We go into our 90s. ;)

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  9. Hi, I was wondering if you'd be willing to post your aging hack on your blog. I really like the way you do your aging, but I'm really horrible at SimPE, and I have absolutely no clue how to work it. I'ma long time reader, first (or maybe second?) time poster, and I really enjoy reading your blog. :]

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  10. Christina, I'm always glad to hear from someone who's enjoying Sullivan. :)

    "My" aging hack is just a tweak of Inge's aging hack but seeing I'm pretty sure hers is just the unmodified Maxis code extracted, I don't mind putting it up. I'll see if I can get it up over the weekend, if not before.

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  11. Carla how long are your seasons? And can you explain your defination of a round to me? Thanks.

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  12. Nita, my seasons are however long they need to be. If I'm playing three families during the summer, then it will be summer in game for all that time. If I'm playing four families, then it'll be longer.

    Once I play every single family, the round is over. Then the new round starts and I play them all again.

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  13. I looked at Inges Tweek, but I have questions. Do you have to twink this for each sim or does the hack do this for you and if not, how do you change this in SimPe?

    I just found your site today and I'm finding it fascinating!

    Thanks!

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  14. juliejaz1, the tweak will work for all Sims automatically. The only thing you need to remember is that if you lengthen (for example) the adult stage, all your current adults will still have the default 29 days. Any new Sims created, or any Sims that age to adult after you put the tweak in will have the new age span. Hope that made sense!

    I'm glad you're enjoying Sullivan. :) Thanks for reading!

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  15. Hello again! I just spent a long 2 hours trying to figure out how to change the aging to my liking. I had been using TJ's aging mod and got used to the longer adult life span and like it. I didn't like how elders kicked over at the same age (70). That was the thing I liked about Maxis aging of elders, you weren't quite sure when they were going with Mr. Grim.

    Anyway, thanks for having all this information here. I wouldn't have figured it all out without the help.

    Thanks!

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  16. juliejaz1, you're welcome! I'm glad it was helpful. :)

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  17. I was just beating myself over the head trying to figure out a nice aging system last night & this is pretty much what I what I came up with! With a shorter pregnancy, too. :) No more 3 year pregnancies!

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    1. Oh, did you? LOL, I could never have come up with it on my own - Laura gets the credit for that. Playing this way, you get through your Sims a lot slower but it's more realistic, which I think is a more rewarding way to play.

      Thanks for reading!

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  18. Lol! Perhaps I should say that I had it all planned out in my head - not actually in working order. :) Thank goodness for people that know how to make the mods!

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    1. Ah, I see! For me, it was only when I actually started playing this way (as opposed to just thinking about it, or writing excessively long blog posts about it!) that I really understood how everything fit together. And now, it's the only way that makes sense to me. :)

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  19. Hi Carla! Long time lurker here, emerging from the shadows to ask you kind of a gameplay/mod/aging question! I've been trying to figure this out for my own game, but how do you handle pet aging? I'm trying to figure out if there's some kind of mod to change life stages/grow pets up at my own will, but I'm not sure exactly where to start!

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    1. Hi Helen, to be honest with you, I haven't thought too deeply about pet aging. You can use InSimenator to age pets up and to change the number of days they have left in their current life stage. I normally age pets at twice the rate of their human counterparts - so they age up four days per round, versus two days for the humans. But I haven't given any consideration as to whether that's a realistic span and it doesn't really bother me enough to do so now. :)

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