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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 31st Dec 2018 at 9:28 PM
Default Randomly Creating New CAS Households - How Do You Do It?
So, I know that there are several challenges out there which require you to randomly create one or more households, as opposed to choosing the size of the household and each sim's characteristics yourself.

A popular way of doing it is to use a random number generator (or dice) to roll for the size of the household, and then the age, gender, starsign and aspiration(s) for each sim. I think that the Prosperity Challenge uses this method, as does Vllygrl's Medieval Charter Challenge.

I find that this way of randomly generating households doesn't sit well with me, mostly because of the (in my mind) overly large numbers of "weird" family set-ups (like an elderly male sim raising two children and a toddler, for example) and low numbers of more common households (like an adult couple with one or more children). It also bothers me that the chance of a household containing, say, a toddler, is the same as the chance of a household containing an adult, even though in my modern 'hoods sims are toddlers for 3 days and adults for 41 days. In the Medieval game that I'm considering at the moment a sim's life will be roughly a 1:2:1 ratio between pre-adult (baby to teen), adult and elder (with stages consisting of 18, 38 & up to 15 days respectively). I would like my starter families to reflect that ratio more, as well as wanting to have more common/conventional households at the start of play.

I've come up with two possibilities for how to achieve this. The first is something that I worked on several years ago (in 2013, apparently!), and involves using charts to randomly roll for a "household structure". Household structures include things like single sims, married couples, married couples with one or more children, single parents with one or more children, multi-generational households (which include one or more elders, one or more adults and one or more youngsters). There are also more unconventional households, such as grandparents raising one or more grandchildren, pairs/groups of siblings/cousins/friends, families with step-parents/step-children and elderly sim(s) with one or more adult children. I weighted each possibility to increase the chance of more common household structures whilst also allowing for rarer, more unusual households.

I am quite happy with my old system, but I am also thinking about an alternative where I randomly roll for the age of each sim in a household, using my custom lifestage durations. So, for example, for each member of a household I would roll between -3 to 84, and then the number rolled would be the age of that sim (hence determining their lifestage). I would then look at all of the ages within the household, roll for each sim's gender and then decide what the family relationships would be. That way I should get more variety in household structures whilst also ensuring that all ages are fairly represented.

I am curious to know how other people who have randomly generated households did so. What method(s) have you used? Were you happy with your method(s)? Why (not)? Is there anything you would do differently in future? I am trying to come up with a way to randomly generate households for my take on the Medieval Charter Challenge, and I would love to read people's experiences and suggestions! :-)
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Instructor
#2 Old 31st Dec 2018 at 10:15 PM
Needs Coffee
retired moderator
#3 Old 31st Dec 2018 at 10:35 PM
I tried the rolling method of random households over the years, and it isn't for me. I could never get interested in those households. I have to start with a couple, get to know them and let them have kids who in turn I get to know as they grow.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Mad Poster
#4 Old 31st Dec 2018 at 11:06 PM
I've done entire "2+" households using various methods, and while it's challenging in one way, I don't like to do it because the backstory of an established family is always a mystery to solve.
So I go to the basic level of 1 person per household, alternating male/female through out the neighborhood. I find that this develops the storylines very well, and their history becomes part of the story.
As for generating them, I use the Random Stuff program, which you can use to populate your hoods with, using any kind of variable going:
RandomStuff: Configurable "dice rolling" program

Receptacle Refugee & Resident Polar Bear
"Get out of my way, young'un, I'm a ninja!"
My downloads of various stuff: https://www.mediafire.com/#myfiles (including funerals!)
Mad Poster
#5 Old 1st Jan 2019 at 10:50 AM
For a brand new hood: 24 surnames, 24 first names, 24 singles, 12 males and 12 females, and all 12 star signs used twice.

Also, 6 social, 6 fortune and 8 knowledge sims as well as 2 family and 2 romance sims (those aspirations will be used more often in the second generation)
Scholar
#6 Old 2nd Jan 2019 at 1:16 AM
My first Sim is always an adult male, the second is an adult female. I only start randomizing if the family has three or more members.
Field Researcher
#7 Old 4th Jan 2019 at 4:42 AM
I make 4-7 new sims every rotations, and start out with a number of households. My last hood was....10 households? Now I'm going to start with 13 I think.
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