It Takes a Village (Simulation and Character Cast)
TL;DR: I want to make my own Sims/Creatures/Animal Crossing/Virtual Villagers game, and first I need to know how many characters and a basic relative time setting (past/present/future).
Yesterday was my 36th birthday, and I vowed that I would spend this year finally making games, no more goofing around or second guessing or perfectionism or confidence issues or over-researching. Well, hopefully the articles I write these first few days don't invalidate that last one.
I made a huge list of television shows, movies, books, and GAMES, that I would be using for my inspiration (A social simulator / virtual pet / civilization idea) and started pulling out the common elements, beginning with just how many characters this social survivor game should have.
In "My Side of the Mountain", a boy runs away from home to live in the wilderness. Lucky for him, he is already smart about nature and survival skills, so while there is some trial and error, it is more about taking things he has read in books, and applying them to the real world. He brings some tools with him, and other than the animals in the wild (including his new trained falcon) he is all alone... for the most part. He meets a professor hiking in the woods, and his dad comes out during a holiday. He also goes back into a nearby town at least once. And at the end... ugh. Ruins it all, and both the character and reader know it.
One nice thing is that he explains what he is doing -- making tools, identifying tree, etc, and even illustrates his creations. It's almost like a "how to" in a narrative form.
To compare, "Under the Ocean" has a single character (so far -- the game is still in alpha) shipwrecked on an island, forced to build tools to survive. "Survivorman" and "Man vs Wild" are also alone -- more so for Les Stroud who doesn't even have a production crew to film him (he has to hike to set up the camera, hike back, hike to get the shot of him walking past, then hike back together the camera). "Minecraft" can be played as a single-player or online with others.
"Robinson Crusoe" and "Castaway" both start with one. Crusoe meets Friday, while Tom Hank's character imagines Wilson as his companion. In "Og Og Alive" the main character finds a mate, but she is more of a goal than a useful character.
"Blue Lagoon", "Lost in Blue", "Naked and Afraid", the story of Adam and Eve, and the end "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect"' have a PAIR of characters, stuck on an island or in the wild. The characters may be children who have an adult mentor but are eventually left to fend for themselves and grow to adolescence, or they start as adolescents like the protagonist of "My Side", or they may be adults, and whether the pair know each other before the event that exiles them differs. If the genders compliment each other, and the time alone is long enough, another generation of people may arise -- though the limited gene pool SHOULD bring up problems.
"Terraria" is interesting in that you start with two characters -- the PC and a guide. As you explore and build, you unlock access to other characters (mostly shop keepers).
"I, Caveman" and "Gilligan's Island" both have a group of castaways, whereas "Lord of the Flies" and "Allegiance" each start with one group that turns on itself, and shows like "Survivor" and "Kid Nation" have teams competing with each other AND their own teammates.
Colonial House was a rare example of a group trying to simulate an early American colonial village, without any real sort of competition. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to treat it as such -- the stars either goofed off and never worked, or they brought too much of their modern ideals into a time period they did not accommodate.
Many of my other examples represent the development of a larger community or civilization, one where the individuals almost don't matter as much. "Dwarf Fortress" starts with seven colonists, but every season more and more arrive, to the point where they become more trouble than help. "A Tale in the Desert", "Wyrm" and "Home and Hearth" CAN be played as a loner experience, but to make much headway it requires teaming up with other human players.
"Civilization", "Blink of an Eye" and "Dragon's Egg" take place over such a long period of time, that even when moments of a person or group of people are shown, the gaps between one moment and the next have little to no connection. In a way, this is the problem with "Spore" -- the changes between one stage and the next are all that matters. What happens DURING each stage has almost no bearing on the next other than the end result of the choices -- the "gameplay" is just an excuse to get to the next chapter, but the content is empty. "Bicentennial Man" is interesting because, although there are gaps in time, we follow the same character as he changes HIMSELF, and the change in the world around him is less visual and more conceptual.
Others feature a guardian or dictator figure -- especially the "God Games" where you have less control over the people and more over their surroundings, providing for and ruling over them. Games like "Black and White", "Populous", "The Settlers" and "From Dust" feature little people who are just about helpless to provide for themselves without your constant interference. "Microcosmic God", "Sandkings", "The Island of Doctor Moreau", "Godfellas", "Creatures" and "The Little People" show worlds of various sizes that are constantly being tweaked by their creator, usually for their own ends. "The Genesis Tub" is unique in that Lisa tends not to interfere with her tiny world and just observes it (but Bart's actions eventually thwart all that). "The Planiverse" and "Flatland" are similar in that the observers do little to effect the world they have found -- other than the minds of a few individuals they communicate with.
Others take place in the middle of a modern or relatively modern society. There is little need to scavenge for berries or built stone tools in such games -- the characters just go to a job, make money, and buy what they need from a store. The society they live in is created prior to the game, and the player simply exists within it. The stars on "Big Brother" and "The Real World" are in no real danger except from interpersonal conflicts. "The Sims", "Animal Crossing", "SimCity" and "Alter Ego" allow your character to simply get a job to buy what they need -- and a job is almost always instantly available regardless of education or work history (such economies are fairly static). "Happy Street", "Little Computer People", "Fraggle Rock" and "The Smurfs" find new things to do and places to live, but it's almost all recreational. "Harvest Moon" actually requires work -- but then, if you fail, you just lose your farm and go back to the city, presumably. "Weslandia" takes place in a boy's backyard, and while he develops his own civilization and culture (and the kids who bullied him decide to join this new "country"), presumably he can go back inside his house at any time.
At the other end of the spectrum, however, are the space colonization ideas and post-apocalyptic settings. For the former, "Alpha Centauri" and "M.U.L.E." explore these concepts, while the latter is closest to the primitive examples we started with. Again, we see a repeat of the lone man in "Stuck With Hackett", the group in "The Colony" and "9", multiple teams in "Junkyard Wars", and a whole town of folks (and the outside world) in "Jericho", "The Last of Us", "The Road Warrior", "Waterworld", "Fallout" and "Revolution". In many of these, civilization has to start over again, or a lone individual must fight to survive. But in these cases, there is often a lot of existing technology to be built on. Knowledge will be lost, and society will be reborn, but it will not be based on nature and discovery -- rather cobbling together what is left of the past. "The Carpet People" takes this in an interesting direction, as the characters are tiny being living in a forest of fuzzy trees which turns out to be a carpeted floor -- they mine metals from lost change on the floor, varnish from a table leg, hunt dust mites, and have an entire fantasy world that technically exists off the remains of ours, but at such a scale that it hardly matters other than for comparison.
None of these options is better or worse, really. But they all require different scales of detail. A single character might seem easier to simulate than a group, but the fewer individuals one follows, the more DETAIL each of them will require (not just looks, but behavior and actions) to be interesting.
submitted by jasonleeholm
CTD only while looking at armor or clothing. HELP!
I'm getting a consistent CTD when I attempt to look at any piece of armor or clothing. This doesn't happen anywhere except in the armor tab in the menu or if I move the cursor over a piece of armor or clothing. I can't loot bodies or chests in fear of CTD. I've unpacked all the BSAs in my load order, I've tried to make patches using the guides, I've merged mods, and this is keeping me froom enjoying the game. This just Started happening about two months ago, and I haven't found a fix since. I'm kinda for in this playthrough, too. I tried starting a new game with the Realm of Lorkhan mod, but that crashes immediately. I ran some armor mods through Cathedral Assets Optimizer, just in case it was a bad mesh like some guides say.
Thanks for your help! I'll give additional info as it warrants because my mod list is very big.
EDIT: Updated Racemenu VR and I could view armors in my inventory again! Will do more testing, like updating SKSE VR to the newer one.
EDIT 2: Game is playable! I'll try updating SKSE VR next.
EDIT 3: The new SKSE VR is working fine so far!
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submitted by J_Rock14