Saturday, August 28, 2010

Assigning ACR's Ideal Family Size Based on Simology

Many people have a preset number of children in mind that they want to have and then no more. While others never really feel like their family is complete. Thanks to ACR's newest feature of "ideal family size" sims can have the same preferences.

I decided that a sim's ideal family size would be dependent on their personality and aspiration. We all know that family sims love children while romance sims could do without them most of the time. Also, pleasure and popularity sims would want less children than knowledge and fortune sims, but to to a smaller degree of difference.
Since I assign aspirations based on personality, I had to look to see if any aspirations were based on high outgoing or nice score. Since popularity is mostly outgoing, I assigned it a higher Aspiration ACR rank, also since knowledge had to be shy (low outgoing), I gave it a smaller Aspiration ACR rank so that my knowledge sims would at least desire some children. As a result, I coded each Aspiration ACR rank as follows:
family= 1
knowledge= 2
fortune= 3
popularity= 4
pleasure= 5
romance= 6

Looking at personality, I decided that the more outgoing a sim was, then the more likely they would like to have more sims in their family. Also since niceness was a requirement for the family aspiration in my hood, I decided that the nicer a sim, the more children they would like to have. As a result I developed a personality dependent score as follows:

Outgoing + ( 0.5 * Nice )

And the final ideal family size formula as follows:

Outgoing + ( 0.5 * Nice ) / Aspiration ACR Rank = Ideal Family Size
This formula fits into my spreadsheet quite nicely without having to collect any additional information such as interests or making the formula complex by considering family background (would those sims from large families prefer large families as well since they enjoyed the experience, or would they prefer smaller families in an attempt to give each child more attention)

Based on primary aspirations only, the formula gave pretty ideal results of what I envision each sim as desiring for their ideal family size. There were a few surprises, such as Jesse (Carr) Kent wanting 14 children since he's a very nice, outgoing family sim. Which leads into the next topic, that just because they have that ideal family size doesn't mean that they will have that many children. Thanks to ACR try for baby based on aspiration and my own birth control rules, then some sims won't have their ideal family size-sorry Jesse. I also noticed that as of now, the average ideal family size for my hood is 3.6 which fits into what the size of most families. I have also included a chart of how the fertile sims (teen and older) in my hood view their ideal family size.

Of course, the actual size of the family is also regulated by finances (can the couple "afford" another child?) , age (older sims have lower fertility rates with ACR), unplanned pregnancies, medical issues (the "barren" trait), spousal preference (for those sims who want 2 children vs 7 children) and of course their wants (if they both roll wants for a child, then I remove birth control, if the partner with the lower child tolerance rolls a want for a baby, then I also remove birth control) .


  1. This is so awesome! I did this on some of my Sims last night and the numbers I came out with are pretty close to the kinds of families I'd imagine they would want.

    Naomi ended up with 0, which fits, because both of her kids were risky woohoo babies. Finn apparently wants 8 kids. Yeah...good luck with that! They can barely afford two. So much fun, thanks for sharing this method!

  2. Thanks for sharing this info. I think I'll use it for Wellington because so far I've only rolled a dice (1-4) and it doesn't always make sense. It's not very likely that a family sim would want only one child and a romance sim wants 4.

  3. -Carla, glad you tried it out and you liked it. I'm thinking of creating a calculator for it and uploading it with a bunch of other calculators. I loved that it was close to the type of families I'd imagine as well.

    -Sari, let me know how it works for your hood and your simmies.

  4. LOL @ Jesse wanting 14 kids!

    It's interesting how you decided to calculate it. It's great that it worked out how you imagined the families to be.

    For New Eden, I came up with something pretty simple. I decided to start with a base number based on aspiration. Family=3, Knowledge=2, Wealth=1, Romance=0, Popularity and Pleasure are random (0-3) because I could see those aspirations going either way as far as having a small family or large family. Then I add a random component to the base number, so every sim with the same aspiration isn't the same. I think I used -1 - +3, maybe weighed towards -1, 0, +1. I thought I could add one for any sim who has family as a second aspiration and subtract one for any that have romance as a second aspiration. But most of my sims don't have second aspirations. The highest number any of my sims can have is 6 or 7, so I miss out on the fun of having sims who want mega-huge families, but that's ok with me.

  5. Thanks for posting this! I've been using the "roll a die" method of determining their ideal family size, but this is much better. :)

  6. -Em, that's an interesting way to get ideal family numbers. Thanks for sharing your method.

    -Shana, no worries.

  7. OMG I just plugged this into my spreadsheet for my current sims and I was about to have a heart attack lol. It looked like most of my sims wanted 6-10 babies but I needed another set of parentheses for it to calculate correctly. I wouldn't have minded too much because I want my hood to grow; but that was a little insane. I do have a couple where the guy wants 5 kids and the girl wants 9. I better keep an eye out for big houses for them in the future :). Thanks for this.

  8. -Danielle, that is funny. Good thing you caught the mistake. I'm glad it worked out for you and I can't wait to see if the couple truly has thier number of kids they want. I have a couple that wants a houseload of kids, but they're also barren...:(

  9. How do you change the ideal family size with ACR? I can't find it ANYWHERE! Perhaps I have an older version?

  10. -pr3ttylilprobl3m, I use version 2.0 beta 5b (, under sim settings, pregnancy, there is an option for ideal family size. Hope that helps.


Thanks for reading and commenting!


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