Author Topic: What do you consider realistic aging settings?  (Read 36873 times)

Offline birdy

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What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« on: February 28, 2012, 05:01:23 PM »
Hello! My name is Birdy and I've been a lurker on this site for a very long time. I always read Carl's guide on an EP before I start playing. :)

I just got Pets and Generations the other day; I have not had a chance to play yet, but I've done a lot of brainstorming as to what kind of story I want to play this time around. I would like it to be as realistic as possible, which leads me to my question. What do you think is a realistic age setting? Now that I have the ability to pick the age lengths for each stage of life, I want to make it like real life. I was calculating that a real-year is equal to a Sim week, which works for baby through childhood. But when you get to adulthood, figuring the stage ranges from age 30 to 60, that makes 30 Sim weeks! o.O That seemed like too long.

So I am interested in everyone else's thoughts and how they've used the new age settings. :) Thank you!

Offline Trentorio

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 05:20:14 PM »
I myself have been trying to play on the default normal setting lately, and in my opinion I think sims age and die way too fast, (as in Townies)  but if doing things like the legacies or dynasties I appreciate the extra challenge and understand why the rules default to Normal. I suppose it is realistic in a sense of climbing in your career and skills over your entire life if you keep it on normal.

I play more "casual" games so I usually bump normal up another week...so 28 days for YA and Adult and I might tack a few more days onto Elder.  I leave infant at 3 and toddler at 7 because I end up being annoyed otherwise. (Until I got the swing, and that's where they stay)

Generations is a good one to add length to the Child and Teen years if you want more out of those life stages. I usually put Child at 14 days and Teens sometimes I leave it at 14 sometimes I bump it up to 21 or some number between 14 and 21.

Effectively, I add a week to every lifespan on Normal.

The first game I ever played in Sims 3 I had set to Epic and seriously the nooboo was a nooboo for about 2 weeks game time before I realized I could age it up with a cake....that whole game everyone got the cake.



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Offline birdy

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Re: Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 06:01:01 PM »
The first game I ever played in Sims 3 I had set to Epic and seriously the nooboo was a nooboo for about 2 weeks game time before I realized I could age it up with a cake....that whole game everyone got the cake.


LOL!!! That is really funny. :D

Thank you for your input. I really like the idea of adding a week onto Normal. I think I might also try a test family and do the 1 week=1 year thing just to see how long it feels.

Offline CSquared2

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 06:49:50 PM »
I usually leave my settings at the default epic, but I'm beginning to change my mind about that.  For me, it's not about duration.  If you want generations to fly by, pick a shorter span.   For me, it's about proportion.  If a sim is an infant for five days, five days should count for a year if you want it to resemble real life.  Toddler stage should then be 10 days, ages 1-3.  Child should be 50 days, ages 3-12.  Teen should be 35 days, or a little less if you decide 18 years is a young adult.    Exactly where the other stages fall depends on your perception of where those stages begin and end.  The game is centered around young adults and, to a lesser extent, teens and adults, to appeal to the casual simmer who doesn't play muti-generational families.  There's a limit to "realistic," but I think the age settings as they are don't come very close.

Offline Hosfac

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 03:48:38 AM »
I typically play on normal lifespan, and don't mess with the age sliders at all.  It's got nothing to do with wanting the generations to sail past...it's more about adding a sense of urgency and purpose to my sim's lives.  On a longer life span, it's easy to complete their life goals so they seem to spend a lot more time muddling about or just sitting around watching TV.  They may not always complete their LTW, but they live full and purposeful lives.  And with that, they and I are both content.  :)

Plus, I found that on longer life spans, I tend to more easily get bored with a family.  I get tired of looking at the same, old faces Sim-day in and Sim-day out.  Plus, it makes the Elder life stage excruciatingly long.  It's my 3rd least favorite life stage, directly behind infant and toddler respectively.

Offline birdy

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 02:44:35 PM »
I kind of "role-play" Sims, so I sort of live vicariously through them. (Stay-at-home mom to two little ones - Sims is my only escape. LOL) With that said, I really like what CSquared2 said about using the infant's stage span to dictate the rest of them. I like my sims to muddle about some, too.

Offline xFezIsAFreakx

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 05:41:35 PM »
I attempted a real life sort of lifespan for my legacy. It went like this: Baby - 2 Days, Toddler - 6 Days, Child - 16 Days, Teen - 28 Days, YA - 50 Days, Adult - 50 Days, Elder - 40 Days. However, I felt this was far too long and tedious, it was taking ages to get things done. I'm now playing on normal with a few adjustments.



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Offline MoMoll

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 05:53:15 PM »
I don't care since my sim can make the "young again" potion. So I keep it normal and let the rest of the town die off. She'll outlive the vampires and not have to hide from the sun.

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 06:12:00 PM »
I tend to think of it as one Sim day being the equivalent of a real-life year. That's mostly because the normal life-span is 90 days, and while living a minimum of 90 years is a much longer lifespan than average, it's still pretty reasonable.

That way, Baby would be 1 day, Toddler would be 4 days, Child would be 8 days, bringing us to 13 years old. Then Teen would be 7 days. They'd become a Young Adult at 20, have 20 days in that life stage, then become an Adult at 40. 25 days as an adult would bring them to 65, which is a reasonably common retirement age. Then 25 days of Elderhood to make them 90 (or less than that, if you want a lower average age of death or really dislike Elders.)
 
I think it's better having some of the Adult and Elder days distributed to the younger age groups, though. Although 1 day of babyhood sounds great to me. Babies are dull.

Offline birdy

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2012, 06:14:58 PM »
Those lengths seem too short to me. Even on the Normal lifespan, I don't have enough time to build very many friendships AND raise skills AND have hobbies AND move up in a career. Maybe I try to accomplish too much with my sims. LOL

Offline MoMoll

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 06:25:14 PM »
Welcome birdy: It depends on what you want your sim to accomplish. IF, you want lots of children, then have them. But if your main sim is female, she will miss work. If your sim is female,I wait until she is level 8 or 9 to have a child. Usually by then her work days and hours are reduced. Easier to handle.
Build friendships at work, use "chat with co-workers", talk to aquaitances on the phone (or use the computer) and throw parties.

Offline birdy

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Re: Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 07:22:09 PM »
Welcome birdy: It depends on what you want your sim to accomplish. IF, you want lots of children, then have them. But if your main sim is female, she will miss work. If your sim is female,I wait until she is level 8 or 9 to have a child. Usually by then her work days and hours are reduced. Easier to handle.
Build friendships at work, use "chat with co-workers", talk to aquaitances on the phone (or use the computer) and throw parties.

Those are some very good ideas, MoMoll. Thank you!

Offline pallyndrome

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 02:03:55 AM »
I like to play with:

1 (or is it 2?) days - baby
5 days - toddler
10 - child
10 - teenager
21 - Young Adult
21 - Adult
21 - Elder

Though I'm thinking of increasing the elder years (just because I think it'll give my elders more time to make relationships with their grandchildren. I don't like putting the teenage years so long compared to child years, so I put them the same. And little time as a baby is nice :)

Offline ErinIsNice

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2012, 12:19:01 PM »
When I got Generations, I added a few days to child and a few days to teen, so I'd have time to play with all the new child/teen features. I feel like on the default normal lifespan, you have to skip some of the fun stuff.
I keep the young adult and adult at normal settings.

Offline Figwit

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2012, 07:46:47 PM »
I won't pretend my ages are at all realistic but I have chosen mine to suit my style.  I play on a very long life span - unless I am playing a challenge of some sort .

Baby is -3 though sometimes I age them up before then.
I have toddler -4 - which gives me time to train them if there are multiples and they can learn their toddler skills and read their way through most of the books.
Child - 7
Teen - 50 (I like my teens)
YA - 150 (my favourite age stage)
Adult - 50
Elder - 17

I have adapted my Options.ini file so I can have these ages by the way.

Offline Hosfac

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2012, 05:21:07 AM »
Those lengths seem too short to me. Even on the Normal lifespan, I don't have enough time to build very many friendships AND raise skills AND have hobbies AND move up in a career. Maybe I try to accomplish too much with my sims. LOL

That might be your problem, right there.  No need to try to do it all with a single sim.  When I play, most of my sims have a single skill, maybe two, that they max out and don't often complete all of the challenges related to them.  When the next generation comes along, I do something different with them.

Offline birdy

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Re: Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2012, 03:58:26 PM »
That might be your problem, right there.  No need to try to do it all with a single sim.  When I play, most of my sims have a single skill, maybe two, that they max out and don't often complete all of the challenges related to them.  When the next generation comes along, I do something different with them.

My sims usually only have 2 skills to work on, as well. I actually realized, after watching my brother play for a while the other day, that I play it like it's real life, as opposed to playing it to make certain game goals. For example, my sim starts out her day eating, showering and going to work. When she gets home, she calls a friend to chat, does some laundry, reads a book, cooks dinner, spends some time with her horse, and then goes to bed. My brother, on the other hand, focuses on keeping needs maxed, and doing whatever needs to be done to progress in his career. There's a profound difference in "time needs" between the two ways we play. I need a lot more days because I DON'T focus on game goals — I tend to fritter more sim time, the way I play.

Anyway, I didn't mean to get all blathery. It was just a light-bulb moment to see him play and realize that, if most people play the way he does, focusing on career and keeping needs filled, then the normal lifespan is perfect. The more you tend toward "real life simulation", the more days you might need for building friendships and moving forward in your career. :)

Offline CSquared2

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2012, 05:07:55 PM »
I know what you mean.  I can get carried away with things that don't make a difference, or only a small difference, like washing hands or brushing teeth or doing laundry.  The opposite, of course, is to focus on achievement to the point that nothing else matters.  It can be tough to find the balance between those.  One of the reasons I prefer longer lifespans is that I can do a great deal of both, achieve game goals and just ordinary stuff I enjoy.

Offline birdy

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Re: Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2012, 05:11:39 PM »
I know what you mean.  I can get carried away with things that don't make a difference, or only a small difference, like washing hands or brushing teeth or doing laundry.  The opposite, of course, is to focus on achievement to the point that nothing else matters.  It can be tough to find the balance between those.  One of the reasons I prefer longer lifespans is that I can do a great deal of both, achieve game goals and just ordinary stuff I enjoy.

Yes, *exactly* what I was trying to say, except you were far more efficient. :))

Offline CSquared2

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2012, 02:15:15 PM »
I don't know if anyone's interested, but I did come up with realistic age settings for an epic lifespan.  In my game, this is 964 days for a sim.  I found real lifespan averages on Wikipedia and used these as guidelines.  The humans and dogs were straightforward; the cats and horses required a little more estimation on my part.

Humans: 78 years (for the United States)
infant: 12 days (birth to age one)
toddler: 24 days: (age one to age three)
child: 123 (age three to age 12)
teen: 61 (age 13 to age 18)
young adult: 98 (age 18 to 25)
adult: 420 (age 25 to 60)
elder 226 (age 60 and over)

I wanted to use the epic lifespan given, whose length I like, so I figured what portion of 964 each of the younger stages would be.  What was left over became the elder stage.  I used this technique for all the species.  I chose the real age ranges based on whatever seemed a suitable combination of reality and societal tradition.  An 18-year-old is still a teen, yes, but, at least in the country I live in, also considered an adult.  A three-year-old does not go to school and get homework, but on the other hand they do nearly all the same things as a five-year-old child who does go to school.  Some might disagree that a person is elderly at 60, but again, I used an average of the two common retirement ages in the U.S., 55 and 65.  Of course, you could always adjust the setting to subtract a little from the lengthy adult stage if you think YA is too short.  In some cases, especially for the pets, I wasn't able to get the cursor to land on exactly the right number, but it still averaged out by subtracting a day from one stage and adding it to another.

Dogs 13 years
puppy: 4 days
adult: 98 days
elder: 61 days

I used three months old as the "puppy" stage.  I can't remember if I used eight or 10 years as the "elder" mark.  Thirteen was a compromise.  Big dogs easily live less.  Small dogs can live a lot longer.  I tried to think of an "average" dog, so I used the medium-sized average given.  This could potentially stand to be longer.

Cats 15 years
kitten: 3 days
adult: 120 days
elder: 62 days

I also used three months for the "kitten" stage, but because the real average lifespan for cats is longer than for dogs, the kitten stage was shorter.  I used ten years as the "elder" mark.

I chose three months for these two baby stages because these are when they truly are babies and resemble the kittens and puppies in the game.  By three months, puppies and kittens are definitely weaned.  Although neither can reproduce until six months or so at the earliest, they also are not the tiny little ones the game portrays starting around the age of four months.

Horses 30 years
foal: 9 days
adult: 299 days
elder: 62 days

Horses were tough.  Horses easily live twice as long as cats and dogs if they're cared for, so upper age range estimates were always just that: estimates.  I used 30 years to be generous because it was the highest number I found.  I believe I used 25 years (the lowest number I found) as the "elder" mark.  For foals, I had an even tougher time.  Horses are "mature" at many different times.  They are weaned before their first birthday.  They can breed at 18 months, but aren't considered mature until four and don't stop growing until six.  This is where I decided to put a little reality check in: the foals in the game are just that, foals, babies.  By the time a horse reaches its first birthday, it's obviously not a baby anymore.  Indeed, in that time, the mare could potentially have gestated again and had another foal.  So, I used one year as the "foal" mark.  It's not 100% accurate, but I felt it was good enough.

Offline Branr

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2012, 03:05:43 PM »
@CSquared2: The only drawback I see in your reasoning is that the game randomly throws mid-life crises at adult sims, and I'd hate to think those happen at age 25 :D  I'd shoot for adult beginning age around 40-45.

Offline CSquared2

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2012, 03:10:09 PM »
LOL Well, some folks claim to have quarter-life crises.   :o  I could see changing it to 35.  That would make more sense to mid-life crises.

Offline Dreamweaver

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2012, 01:46:17 AM »
140 Sim days

Baby - 2
Toddler - 7
Child -  20
Teen - 30
YA - 35
Adult - 35
Elder -11

I came up with this because I find that normal is too short but long is much more time than I need.

Offline birdy

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Re: Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2012, 04:18:09 PM »
140 Sim days

Baby - 2
Toddler - 7
Child -  20
Teen - 30
YA - 35
Adult - 35
Elder -11

I came up with this because I find that normal is too short but long is much more time than I need.

Thank you for sharing this! I'm going to try it because the timespan I picked is too long and I agree that normal is too short.


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Offline DeNile

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Re: What do you consider realistic aging settings?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2012, 07:56:37 PM »
I have two sets of ages here, one being the one I play, one being the one my data has come up with, so please, bear with me. The first one is my research age span, the one I consider realistic but am to terrified to play with for fear of becoming bored. Straight from Word, here it is:

"The data I am using is from North America. Why? Because Electronic Arts is based in North America, and I feel that if they used any data whatsoever, it would come from there.

In North America, the average person lives 78.3 years. Rounded, that's 78 years.

In the Sims 3, a Sim pregnancy lasts 3 days. Assuming their bodies work similarly to our own, that means that 3 days is roughly equal to 9 months. Simple division determines that, therefore, 1 Sim Day = 3 Real Life, or RL, months.

Using these numbers, as well as data I have gotten from the internet, which is, in turn, mixed with my own slight tweeks for the Sims themselves, I have determined, roughly, how long each life state would for a Sim, if we set their ageing period to be the same as ours.

There are 12 months in 1 year. Therefore, in the Sims 3, 4 Sim days = 1 RL year. Also shown as 12/3 = 4 days. Using this calculation, we can now divide the number of months in an age group by 3, and come up with the number of Sim days in that life state it is equal to.

The age groups I am using are as follows:
Babies: 0-1 years.
Toddlers: 1-5 years.
Children: 5-12 years.
Teens: 12-18 years.
Young Adults: 18-35 years.
Adults: 35-60 years.
Elders: 60-78 years.

Now, before I continue, I would like to explain why I have chosen to split up the age groups this way. Babies are considered babies in the Sims 3 as long as they are "immobile, gooping bundles of joy", to quote Lazy Game Reviewer. At age 1, a human being is capable of basic speech, recognizing patterns, and begins to learn how to talk. Sound familiar? That's because toddlers in the Sims 3 are capable of just this. Therefore, in the Sims 3, a baby becomes a toddler at age 1.

Toddlers go from age 1-5 because, in the Sims 3, a Sim is only considered a child when they can walk, talk, use the toilet, prepare snacks for themselves, and attend school. Do you know of any 3 year old children that can do this? No? Neither do I. Beyond that, most children start school (kindergarten and up) at age 4 or 5, so I believe the cut off is reasonable.

Children range from 5-12 because that is when most children in North America attend elementary school, if we do not include 7th and 8th grade. At age 12, most children have graduated grade 6, and are moving on to grade 7. Beyond that, the average age to begin puberty in North America is age 12, which is when the body starts to develop into a more mature form. Children in the Sims 3 have not yet begun to mature into adults.

Teenagers range from 12-18, because that is, roughly, when most children attend middle/high school – grades 7-12 – and is also when most adolescents experience puberty, which matures the body. In the Sims 3, teens attend high school, get jobs, have crushes, and experience their first relationships, just like the teenagers of the real world. This age group ends at 18, because that is the average age a person graduates from high school. In the Sims 3, the last thing a teen Sim does before joining the work force, is graduate high school and attend their honour ceremony.

Young Adults range from 18-35, as that is when most people join the workforce, begin to have more serious relationships, and begin to grow and mature, while still maintaining their youthful joy in some or most cases. I chose to end this age group at 35, because that is when most people in North America begin to develop wrinkles and laugh or frown lines, which are the defining characteristics of adults in the Sims 3.

Adults range from 35-60, as this is roughly middle age. Adults are more mature, tend to have serious relationships that they settle down in (or not), and the end of Young Adulthood and the beginning of Adulthood, tends to be when many adults have children. Adults can suffer midlife crisis’s, much like those of the Sims 3, and tend to be higher up in the work force than their less-wrinkled counterparts. I ended this age group at 60, because that is when the average adult becomes very grey (if not before), begins to develop arthritis, and many begin to think about retirement.

Elders range from 60-78, simply because 60 is when I chose to begin considering adults, elders, and 78 years is the average lifespan of a North American person.

Using these age groups, their respective life states, and the data I have collected based on a Sims 3 pregnancy, I can determine how long a person should live in the Sims 3, and how many days each life state should be.

Let's begin:

Baby (0-1): 1 year = 12 months. 12 months/3 months per day = 4 Days.
Toddler (1-5): 5 - 1 = 4 years = 48 months. 48 months/3 months = 16 Days.
Child (5-12): 12 - 5 = 7 years = 84 months. 84 months/3 months = 28 Days.
Teen (12-18): 18 - 12 = 6 years = 72 months. 72 months/3 months = 24 Days.
Young Adult (18-35): 35 - 18 = 17 years = 204 months. 204 months/3 months = 68 Days.
Adult (35-60): 60 – 35 = 25 years = 300 months. 300 months/3 months = 100 Days.
Elder (60-78): 78 – 60 = 18 years = 216 months. 216 months/3 months = 72 Days.

In total, this would mean that a Sim, on average, should live: 312 Days.

Now, this isn't what I play with, but this would put everything into perspective. I wonder how it would turn out.

Thank you for listening to me rant."

The second one, is the life span I play on, which is:

Baby: 3 Days.
Toddler: 7 Days.
Child: 12 Days.
Teen: 18 Days.
Young Adult: 35 Days.
Adult: 30 Days.
Elder: 14 Days.

Total: 119 Days.
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