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Splitting into chapters

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As I've said before I'm making a life sim rpg game and was planning to split it into chapters but wanted to have enough so the games not really short but can't decide what chapters to have they're being based on different stages of life. For chapter one I've decided it's where you've just left high school and you've moved to the city where your sister lives and you're focusing on things like making new friends, getting a job, maybe going to college. This is as far as I've got.

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There are several ways your character's life could go.
a. He stumbles into a career that'll occupy him for a few years, or
b. He decides he wants to pursue a career that necessitates going to college/university, or
c. He gets a woman pregnant and now has to get serious about supporting a family, or
d. He goes into a life of petty crime.

Do you want to give your players the ability to go either of those ways, or do you want a single path?

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There are several ways your character's life could go.a. He stumbles into a career that'll occupy him for a few years, orb. He decides he wants to pursue a career that necessitates going to college/university, orc. He gets a woman pregnant and now has to get serious about supporting a family, ord. He goes into a life of petty crime.Do you want to give your players the ability to go either of those ways, or do you want a single path?


They have options but I wanted to divide it into chapters with different age stages so like you're 18 when you start the game

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Okay, well, do what you will with chapter 2. You didn't have ideas, and now you do.

I also can't decide how to do the chapters/age progression like because it's open ended I don't want to make it so there's tasks you're forced to do to move on like you don't have to straight away go to college you can go at any age so I can't think how to do it

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You could key content off of in game triggers. You write up a romantic dinner scene, and it gets played after you date the same person for a year. Maybe that happens at 19, maybe it happens at 70. The same with college, all that content gets played when the player goes to college, whenever that might be.

 

I'm guessing you want the chapter distinction to allow time jumps? Like you play a bit as a 19 year old settling in, and then a bit as an established 30 year old professional, then maybe a 45 year old mid life crisis? The chapter jumps could be timed, or conditioned on achieving a set number of things, or what have you. Or you could have lots of smaller time jumps triggered on events: like you play some college content and then you're 4 years older and graduating. You get married and find a job, and then 8 years jumps by.

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You could key content off of in game triggers. You write up a romantic dinner scene, and it gets played after you date the same person for a year. Maybe that happens at 19, maybe it happens at 70. The same with college, all that content gets played when the player goes to college, whenever that might be.
 
I'm guessing you want the chapter distinction to allow time jumps? Like you play a bit as a 19 year old settling in, and then a bit as an established 30 year old professional, then maybe a 45 year old mid life crisis? The chapter jumps could be timed, or conditioned on achieving a set number of things, or what have you. Or you could have lots of smaller time jumps triggered on events: like you play some college content and then you're 4 years older and graduating. You get married and find a job, and then 8 years jumps by.

I may do it like that but if the player just didn't do anything to do the time triggers a year ingame would be 36.5 days which means the whole game would be really long lol

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Why don't you tie the chapters with the main story decisions, that way you can have the player building the chapters for you.
Example: Main Story Decision Time, Hero selects option A. New chapters unveils.... named Option A.
That way you have the player building the book for you. 

Now that i think of it you may also tie it up with in game save points, so if you want to go back to that decision you just select that chapter. hummmm!

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I also can't decide how to do the chapters/age progression like because it's open ended I don't want to make it so there's tasks you're forced to do to move on like you don't have to straight away go to college you can go at any age so I can't think how to do it

 

Open ended and chapters are not very compatible. I suggest to discard one of those.

 

Also, the main purpose of chapters is to "reset progress" or "switch locations/time". Are you sure you want/need this?

 

 

As for chapters in your case it should be pretty clear:

1) kid

2) teenager

3) adult (maybe split it into two chapters, young adult searching for a job and getting married and older adult dealing with kids and an established familiy)

4) eldery

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