Slowly trying to get back on track when it comes to simming, so I thought I might as well type this out. Remember way back in March
, before my life turned upside down, when I mentioned that I'd been thinking about Alphabetia's population and may now have a system in mind? No? Well, no wonder, I barely remember it myself. But anyway, I looked at my spreadsheet again, and I still like it.
What I did back in March was open up a spreadsheet and list each and every current sim in Alphabetia, arranged by family. Then, without thinking too much, I gave them a "priority class", simply based on how much I like them and want to play them. Again, without thinking too much, I decided I'd try to go with three classes. I gave each sim a number from 1 to 3, with 1 being top priority, 2 being in the middle and 3 being the lowest priority. I didn't yet think much about what the numbers would mean in practice. That way, assigning priorities was surprisingly easy.
I color coded the results: priority 1 is green, priority 2 is yellow and priority 3 is red. And at that point, I came to a realization. Here's a picture of the spreadsheet, so you can see for yourself:
Yes, that's a lot of red, a hugely surprising amount for me. I went ahead and counted the numbers. I have a total of 86 sims in Alphabetia, only counting the currently living ones. And 9 of them got priority 1, meaning that I adore them and absolutely want to keep playing them and their decendants. Yes, you got that right. 9. 18 sims got priority 2, and the grand majority, 59, got priority 3. And this division came naturally, without having to force it one bit. So really, it's high time that I did something.
Another observation is, the division happened quite naturally, and it also pretty much corresponds to family lines at the moment: the main line including the current spare and his family are priority 1, the first cousins and their families are priority 2 and the rest are priority 3. There are a couple of exceptions, but that's alright, that's why I did the whole thing, to see how it goes. And that's also what gave me an idea what to do.
My plan is to have a permanent priority system in the 'hood, with three classes like I fleshed out above. Each sim has a priority, and I can decide on the priority however I want. A priority can change if I feel strongly about a particular sim, but it's meant to be a fairly permanent thing. I like all my sims, and I like having them around, so I'm not going to axe the cousins entirely.
The priority 1 sims are super important to me, so I'm going to keep playing them and their lives will be progressing as normal. No change for them, that is. I like the priority 2 sims a lot too, and I like playing them. Plus, there aren't that many of them, so I can keep them in the rotation. But they aren't as super important as the first group, and they don't need to have offspring all around the place. So the priority 2 sims are going to be in the rotation, and they will age normally, but there will be a chance that a sim belonging to this class will be infertile, to keep this class from growing indefinitely. The priority 3 sims are also my sweeties, but they aren't important to the plot like 99.9% of the time, and I don't really feel so strongly about them, so this is where I can make a change. The sims in priority 3 will be taken out of the rotation, so they won't age, and they will all be infertile.
As I said, I'm free to choose a new sim's priority whichever way I want, it doesn't necessarily have to go along the family lines, although mostly I suspect it will. Also, I can make exceptions for partners. Say, a priority 2 sim really likes a priority 3 sim, so I want them to get together. If they do, and I like the priority 3 sim enough, they can get "promoted" back to priority 2. And the other way around too.
When I get back to actually playing Alphabetia, I think I'll finish the current rotation because I'm so close to the end. Then I'll probably start playing by the new priority system and see if I like it, tune it where necessary. And probably until the downgrade point after college, I'll have to pretend to go by the old system for the story, because only then I'm going to have an explanation of it for the plot. But I have plans for that plot, and I like them.
So yeah, maybe I've finally found something good? I hope so.