I talked yesterday with a commercial real estate rep about rental rates, how much floor space you'd need for 10 - 12 people, and various other things. I can't say I'm surprised, nor happy, but it's good to get a reality check. Sometimes I have the feeling of a man trying to brave rapids with a canoe, a spoon, and blind faith. But whenever I even try the luxury of losing heart I'm reminded of all those glorious, shining desk jobs just waiting for me out there (which I may have to take anyway, if this all crashes [grin]).
Man, this is all a phenomenal life lesson in pursuing your heart's desire...
More on "future life sim" elements, in this case constructs, new crew and children (maybe pets if they fit).
There needs to be gameplay for making a psychological imprint / impression. There are a couple of ways to do this from the standpoint of the NPC: mimickry, positive / negative correction, and rules / policies.
It'd be interesting if your child picked up your bad and good habits, but the game would need to define a few bad and good habits to pick up and match them to the existing grid of moral bearings. I'm not sure how much is enough to make this cool. If you use stim paks all the time, is it enough to see an impressionable crew member or child starting to constantly use them? Dress and anti-dress are definitely good here, which requires a bit of assigning costumes to factions ("Dammit, now my daughter's dressing like those freakin anti-techs!" [smile])
Positive and negative correction are a bit more interesting and potentially controversial. They fall into verbal and physical. Verbal is conversation responses to moral questions the NPC has, or interjections like insults, praise or taunts. Physical correction can be anything from applause to smacking a crewmember, pet or child. For veracity's sake, this needs to go into some sort of matrix of responses, so that if you're kicking your dog in public people might respond, depending on how rough the town is.
The rules / policies thing is a bit sketchy right now. I did a bunch a while back for starship policies, and they conferred benefits at a cost. They set general rules that inhibited or enhanced AI behavior, most of it fortunately behind the scenes (like stealing and gambling) I've got to see if this stretches for the virtual family or the businesses morale / touch-object gameplay.
More on this later...