Business Job Updates
I think I'm about 90% done with the business jobs for this update. Got some interesting mechanics in there, I think.
For example, one of the potential random events while you're working as a Personal Secretary is that you overhear some people making...disparaging comments about you. Now, the obvious reactions are there (Ignore it, adds to submissiveness, enjoy it, adds to...something?), but there's also some unexpected reactions (complain to human resources, complain to human resources and make some stuff up to get even, and cold-cock one of the sons-of-bitches). Nothing really too impressive, right?
Except that the immediate results of those actions aren't necessarily the only results. If you complain to HR, you get a response stating that they'll look into it, which is fine and dandy and gives you some results (generally Job Performance +1 and some other stuff). But, three days later, you get the results of that investigation. Did you make things up in an attempt to get those two jerks fired, and if so, did HR fire them...or did they find out you were lying and subsequently punish you?
And since I don't want you to be suffering from harassment every day of every week (it's a pretty good random chance for it to happen, about 1 in 6 per day), while the investigation is ongoing, people will comment on it. Or, if you punched the guy in the face, they'll comment on that. And after the investigation is complete, you don't have to worry about harassment for a little over a week before the cycle starts up again. And if you punched the guy in the face the first time, and choose to do it again? The game will remember and react appropriately (you'll be demoted if Job Performance is positive, fired if it's negative). Maybe you think it's worth it, since you get to punch a womanizing son-of-a-bitch in the face, which also preserves your masculinity, and that's your choice. Well, good for you.
But then, what if you get back to that position and punch the guy a third time? You can kiss that career goodbye for the rest of the game.
Like I said, interesting stuff, at least mechanically, and to me. Whether or not you people think the same is up for debate.
After these two jobs are complete (which should hopefully be within the next day or so), I'll work on implementing the skill caps. There's been some discussion about this in the stream, but I figured I should clear the air about it, so there's less confusion.
Skill caps aren't going to be overtly restrictive. Basically, what I'm doing is controlling the pace of development of your character, but I'm pretty sure it'll be done in such a way that unless you're intentionally grinding, you'll never even notice. Here's how it'll work.
You start off with a pool of 150-200 points in the "skill pool" (I haven't decided on the actual amount). For most skill training, any time you gain a skill point, it corresponds to an identical decrease in the skill pool. So you gain three points in Dancing, which lowers the skill pool by 3 points. Easy enough, right? If you don't have enough skill points in the pool to correspond to the skill increase, it doesn't happen, and you get a message to that effect (i.e. "You take the dancing class, but when it's over you just don't feel like you've learned anything from.")
At the start of every month, on the first (or the last) day of the month, you get an additional 100 points added to the skill pool, allowing for more skill increases. So, over the course of the game, you'll have 1250-1300 skill points able to be divided among your skills. So, skill caps don't necessarily limit your character growth, so much as they slow it. Why am I doing this? Because in order for me to set up reasonable challenges (like the lab in the first mission), I have to know how your character is developing. If you're grinding for the lab, that's fine, I don't really mind, but what the skill cap does is allows me to set up things like that so if you are grinding to overcome those challenges, it's at the expense of other aspects. So maybe you're building your dancing and tech apt skills for the lab, which, as I said, is fine by me. But, because you're focusing on those two skills, your other skills are going to suffer a bit, meaning you might not get enough skill points to get a promotion as quickly as you'd like. And that's the point: basically, you have to choose between being good at your job, being good at doing Maria's requests (and other missions), or being a jack-of-all-trades and possibly having more difficulty with the tasks that come up.
In addition, the Skill Caps system might allow me to do something at the beginning of the game, namely allowing you to start with slight bonuses in various skills based on your background (which you get to choose), which would correspond to decreases in the skill point pool. So, if you were a computer help line call center person, maybe you start with a dozen skill points in technical aptitude. Or maybe you were in a band on your days off from your day job, giving you a bonus to your Music skill (oh, yeah, there's going to be a music skill). Things like that.
So that's the reasoning behind the Skill Caps. Hope that makes things a bit clearer. This also isn't a new system: I've been planning on doing skill caps for at least the last four months, but couldn't actually find the time to do so.