# Ageing people

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Hi everyone,

I want the people within my game to age and die of old age but I can't decide on how to go about it.

One way is to have one game minute = one real second so that one game year is around six real days

The other way is like The Sims where they age in stages so they are a baby for three days, a toddler for two days etc

I want it to be as realistic as possible but going with the first option it would be around three months before the game people reach 18 years of age.

Any suggestions?

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Hello,

Well, nobody forces you to stick with the 1sec RL ^= 1min ingame. Just choose whatever conversion ratio seems apropiate to you. 1sec RL ^= 30min ingame or 2min RL ^= 1day ingame for example would result in 3 days to reach 18 and a approximate total duration of the game of about 12 days or 288 hrs. Still too long? Simply use a harder ratio.
If on the other hand your game features a day-night-cycle, that might lead to way too rapid alternations between those two. But ingame-seconds/RL-seconds is not the only ratio you could adjust. The harvest moon gamecube-installment for example features exactly that conversion 1sec RL ^= 1min ingame, but the conversion of ingame-days/ingame-year was drastically cut to 40 days per year, allowing each individual day to be long enough to be played out, but still have the years be short enough to show the longterm effects of your decisions.

Hope that was helpful. And sorry for any grammar or typos, I'm way behind on my sleep schedule.

bw,
Tobl

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I think accuracy matters less than fun and utility. NPCs probably contribute the most in adulthood. Therefore (based on your suggested scale) I would suggest a short childhood (e.g. a week), a long adulthood (maybe months) and a short old age (a few weeks). If you want realism just find a function that squishes time the way that suits, possibly a piecewise function. By the way, you're aiming for seriously long life by game standards!

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If on the other hand your game features a day-night-cycle, that might lead to way too rapid alternations between those two.

Yes I want to have day/night cycles as well. I was thinking about giving the player the ability to create people in houses. So the player builds houses and then creates a family with children that grow up but the house has a maximum number of people.

So the player can create people but they need enough resources and a supporting infrastructure.

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I have decided to make a game minute = two real seconds and a game year = 30 game days

So a game year is 24 real hours.

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You could also abandon the transfer rate approach and use in game events as chronological triggers.

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One way that you could use is skipping stretches of time through either cut scene or fades from scene to scene. This technique has been used in movies and other games to a fair bit of success. Fallout 3, Overlord 2, all the Fable games, they all had the player start as a child and usually used that time as a tutorial level before cutting to years later.

But I guess it really depends on what kind of game you are implementing this feature in? Is it a slow, story driven RPG or an action packed 3rd person adventure? Both could have an aging system added, but they could be used very differently. Say for the RPG, you make events in the story help accelerate the characters age or quests become more difficult or impossible for an elderly character to achieve. Similarly, in the action game, aging could be used as a clock and handy-cap function. The player may have to beat the game before they die of old age, and the closer they get to that, the slower and weaker they become.

Either way, I think you'll just have to experiment with it and you'll find something that fits your game.

Though that's not too realistic, those are some things to take into consideration when talking about aging in games.