Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Some Clarifications

So, in an effort to stave off some potential concerns that arose in the last post, here's another one! I would answer in comments, but I'm limited right now. (I also got very little sleep last night, and writing this stuff helps keep me awake)

While the apartment cleaning aspect does mean that you'll need to do another action every day, it's actually a good thing. First of all, you'll be able to initiate cleaning in any room in the apartment, and it will affect the whole apartment. So if, as soon as you wake up, you decide you want to clean, you can do so to get it out of the way. The command will be on the room "portrait" button, and will deactivate for the rest of the day after it's used in any room in the apartment.

Why is that a good thing, you ask? It's more clicks in a game that's already click-heavy, you say? True...except that, as I mentioned in the post, apartment cleanliness being a factor allows me to streamline the shower and make-up routine. So instead of waking up, clicking the north direction, then right-clicking the shower and selecting shower, then right-clicking the make-up kit and applying makeup, and then clicking south to get back to the bedroom, that will all be done automatically. And the cost of getting that streamlined is that, at some point, you have to right-click on the room portrait and choose to clean the apartment. Or not (more on that below).

The apartment cleanliness scale will go from 0 to 20, as mentioned before. At the end of each day, the game will check to see if you cleaned up. If you did, the cleanliness scale will stay the same. If you didn't, it will decrease by one. From 7 to 19, there are absolutely no effects on cleanliness. If the cleanliness scale is at 20, there's a bonus of sorts for being in a really clean apartment. If the scale is under 7, you get +1 added to Slob. If it's under 4, you also lose health. The scale will start at 19, and if you choose to ignore cleaning for a long while, it'll still take 12 days before anything actually happens, and more than two weeks before you start to notice things happening immediately.

As for cleaning itself, it's easy. There's three options: Tidy Up, Clean, and Clean Thoroughly. Tidy Up is the easiest: it takes no time, and increases the cleanliness scale by 1, up to a maximum of 14. It counts as cleaning for the day, adds 1 point to the Cleaning skill, and therefore allows you to prevent the degradation of your apartment's cleanliness. In addition, if cleanliness is between 15 and 19, while Tidy Up won't increase the rating, it will prevent it from going down at all. Not bad for something that takes no time at all to do. The Clean option takes one time block, increases the cleanliness scale by 3, adds 3 points to the Cleaning skill, and can boost cleaning up to 20. The Clean Thoroughly option (which I might rename) takes two time blocks, increases cleanliness by 7, adds 7 points to the Cleaning skill, and can only be used when the cleanliness scale is 10 or less (i.e. your apartment is filthy, so you spend time getting it cleaned up).

Now, if you bought the cleaning supplies for the maid side job, that factors in: if you have the supplies, you'll use them to help you clean, and any apartment cleaning action will get a +2 bump to the cleanliness scale. So Tidy Up now increases the scale by 3, Clean by 5 and Clean Thoroughly by a whopping 9. That's almost half the scale right there. And your cleaning skill, at high levels, can reduce the amount of time it takes to clean by one time block, to a minimum of 1 time unit. So if, for example, you have a high cleaning skill and the cleaning supplies, you can clean once every 9 days at the cost of one time block. Or, with no cleaning supplies and low cleaning skill, once every day for no time at all.

The point of this system is to be unobtrusive. I don't want the player to have to worry about it too much, or waste too much time with clicks. It's one click, once per day max. And if you really let things go and get the Slob trait, you don't need to worry about it at all, because while you won't be able to get to the top of the scale (20 points), the bottom of the scale, where you get health penalties, will also be locked out. In other words, no matter how dirty your apartment gets, you will never be affected by it. So if you want to ignore it, and don't mind the charisma penalty (-5 to natural charisma), then by all means, feel free.

This doesn't mean you'll never need to shower: if you have an "accident", you'll need to clean yourself up, which will not be automatic. But at the same time, the penalty for not doing so won't be crippling (charisma penalty until you do shower, which would be the following day). And if you have the accident while in your apartment, you'll affect the cleanliness negatively (for example, the lactation accident will reduce cleanliness by 1 if it happens in your apartment).

As for the cleaning skill, it's going to be a little weird. Like half-skills, it only goes up to 50...unless you take the maid job, in which case it can go up to 100. So you can look at it as as 0-50 being an amateur, and 51-100 being professional grade.

Side note about skill caps
I forgot to mention this in the last post. Skill caps only apply to "learned" skills. In other words, the following:
Sex Skill
Office Work Skill
Technical Aptitude Skill
Dancing Skill
Supervisory Skill
Music Skill
Cleaning Skill
Deception Skill
Martial Arts Skill

That means that Heels Skill, Dexterity, and just about any other variable in the game is not limited by the skill cap. In fact, looking at that list now, if anything, I'm giving too many skill points: you only need 800 points to max out your skills, and you get half again as much point throughout the course of the game. So...I'll have to look into that.


  1. Then would it be possible to set tidy-up or other options as a turn on or off options. Just set to on and let it be done like eating. That way you only need to use a more advanced option if something unexpected happens like a party or wild night.

  2. I'm fine with this, ill probably just clean every week or so when it gives a warning message.

    Not a big deal

  3. can we just hire a cleaning lady?

  4. personally i wish we could add a "schedule" option or "EZ mode". Like, if you get to 50 cleaning skill and/or maintain 20 cleanliness for a week, you get the option to "habitually clean" or something, so you don't have to click around as much. I mean, the eating schedule is automatic, why can't the cleaning schedule be automatic too, even if just optionally?
    I'd KILL for something, ANYTHING to reduce the amount of clicking around you have to do in this game.

    1. I don't see why your apartment can't be just one big room with various objects to interact with. I don't see why you need to click "kitchen" to use the computer, why not just "computer," or "table," or "bed?"

      If you're in the bed it's pretty clear you're in the bedroom, and the shower, the bathroom. I don't see why having the apartment as an explorable place is needed.

    2. If I made the apartment one giant room, then ALL the items in the apartment would show up on the item list at the same time. Imagine, instead of going from one room to another, that you had to scroll through a rather large list of items with which to interact. It would be significantly worse, trust me (just opening the closet with all the clothes options would result in the item list doubling immediately).

  5. Along the automatic cleaning line, maybe a "Neat Freak" Trait that you can earn by cleaning (maybe only regular cleaning, but not tidying up) regularly that makes you automatically tidy up every day, but increases the penalties from dirtiness, etc.

  6. Did you... delete my post on the maid update?

    1. I did not. This post was inspired by your comment, I wouldn't have deleted it. I don't know what happened to it.

    2. D'aw... I always thought you disliked my harping...

      Yeah, it's just kind of gone.

  7. So, isn't this just going to eat up our precious and limited Skill Points?