Putting my townies to work was a big step forward, but I knew I still had a long way to go. People — and sims, too — are not defined solely by their occupations. A teacher, for example, might be the prim and proper sort like Miss White, my English teacher years ago, or a brash and outspoken man like Mr. Graves, my old history teacher. Teachers come in different shapes and sizes and each has his or her own style. We’ll see this same variation in personality styles in most other occupations, as well.
What’s Your Style?
This was my next question as I approached each of the townies in my household management bin. Of course, they weren’t the ones providing the answer. Instead of them telling me about their personality, I was telling them. Hey, you know what EA says, right? My game, my rules.
Just as I did with my original career list, I drew inspiration from Writer’s Guide to Character Traits and compiled a list of personality styles. These ranged from “adventurer” to “victim” with a lot of interesting types along the way.
At this point, of course, I had entered my previous information on a spreadsheet showing the first name, last name, occupation, and place of employment for each townie sim. Now I inserted a new column and headed it Personality. Beginning with the first townie on the spreadsheet, I added in all the styles, assigning one style to each of those unsuspecting townies.
Oh, how fun it was!
I learned that some of these townies were problem solvers; others had an eccentric streak. Some were conventional folk who believed in playing by all the rules; others were show-offs who wanted attention. I had leaders and followers, and as I looked at each one I could imagine their lives more clearly now. I could sense more of who they really were and what made them tick.
Even the children in my townie bin, I should point out, received both an occupation and a personality style. Although they were still listed as “in school” on my spreadsheet, I knew now the direction they would take as they grew up…which brings us to the next point.
Like the active sims in my regular rotation, the townies in my game also age. Once each rotation cycle, I age them “one day”, which is equivalent to one year of game time.
I do keep track of the ages of all my active sims and manually age them at appropriate times.
- Babies age up to school age children when they turn 6
- Children become teens at age 13
- Teens turn into young adults at age 19
- Young adults mature to adults at age 40
- Adults become elders at age 65
It was only logical that I should also keep track of the ages — and birth months — of each of my townies. I added two more columns to the spreadsheet. Here’s a look at one entry. Wade Hendrickson was born in September and turned 44 during the rotation I’ve just completed.
|Hendrickson||Wade||9||44||Hendrickson’s Mortuary||Funeral Director||Conventional|
Yes, I now have a funeral director in my game. It’s a family-owned, family-operated business, and whenever one of my beloved simmies passes away, I can rest assured that all arrangements will be handled swiftly and efficiently by Hendrickson Mortuary.
It’s pretense, of course. The Hendrickson family is just another “townie family” in the bin. In my mind, though, they’re very real. I can imagine their lives, shudder at the thought of dealing with dead bodies every day, and feel a bit of sympathy for the two children growing up in what must be a rather gloomy atmosphere.
You’ll notice, of course, that I’ve dressed Wade Hendrickson all in black. It seemed quite fitting. Clothes do make the man, as Shakespeare said, and they make the women and children, too. Part of my Townie Project also involves making-over my characters, dressing them for the roles they’ll be playing.
More to come!
The Townie Project – Part 5: Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?