So, obviously, there's a problem when your day takes a long, long time, but the prisoners' needs still tick away at the same rate -- that's a serious design flaw that needs to be fixed. (I did locate a mod (Needs for Slow Time on Large Maps) to handle this for the moment. Still haven't figured out why students aren't using the toilet I set up in the classroom, though, and that's way worse when the Pee/Poo needs are going up faster than the three-hour time block is ticking away.)
But the Slow Time mutator is a great concept, and right up my alley. And it's great because it's an optional thing that not every player is going to use, but those players who value that change have it right at their fingertips!
It's been frustrating to try accomplishing all these goals while the days tick away so fast and the prisoners' sentences run away so they keep jumping ship right when I've actually got some of them to get the skills I need to further other parts of my game. So what I would like to see is a Mutator, or small set of Mutators, that allow me these related factors:
1. Slower Days
This appears to be the base Slow Time mutator. Prisoner Needs should be slowed to match (unless the player elects otherwise). Ideally, I should be able to choose exactly how slow, or some small set of options (does a full day take a full hour? or three hours? or 10 minutes?)... subject, of course, to how well the game processes activities.
2. Another Mutator: Faster Nights
Any time the prisoners are all (supposedly) asleep, the time should shift to the fastest time available. If I miss a few tunnels, that's my lookout.
3. Slower Years
This should be in the Options Menu -- I shouldn't have to start a new map or reload the map or anything to just alter how fast the game ticks through these things.
If I want to use a year of 365 days, or 1000 days, let me. It'll help with my immersion. Or if I'd like to use the year of 112-120 days (the Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley standard: four seasons, 28-30 days apiece), let me do that. Or maybe I want 12 days per year, or 7 days per year, or just 1 day per year. Full player control.
4. Slower Seasons
I should be able to set Seasons at 30 days per season, or 90 days per season, or whatever I like. Or set it as a flat 1/4 of the length of the Year.
Also, ideally, let me set each season individually. Maybe I want the extreme of Summer and Winter to occur for only a week, while the mild Spring and Fall go for 28 days apiece.
Also also: The game should start in Spring or Fall, allowing a mild weather when you're getting started, and giving you time to get those heaters or A/C units installed.
5. Sentence Lengths
Options Menu again: I should be able to set the Minimum and Maximum sentences that my prisoners come in with. Maybe I'd have to earn this right with research, fine. But if I want to have Min 2-year sentence, Max 20-year sentence, I should be able to do that. Or maybe I want lifelong prisoners (20+ sentences only), or a revolving-door prison (under 2 years only). Might be nice to have a way to alter the bell curve (Min X, Max Y, Mode Z, choose Full Random or Regular Bell Curve or Polar Extremes (most prisoners are long-term or very short-term, with few to none in the middle ranges) or Almost All Mode (very few vary far from the desired Z-year sentence)).
6. Immersion-Related Time Complaints
Nobody should be dying of starvation within a day or two! You take starvation damage after three days with (close to) zero food; anything faster than that is ludicrous (unless you're a small child). Sure, they can be hungry, they can complain, but starvation should only kick in if I'm doing things very, very badly.
Similarly, prisoners shouldn't be irritated with their hygiene within 1 day unless they (a) got affected by a messy event (prisoners throwing food, bleeding out, peeing themselves, etc.), (b) spent time in (not just walked through) a particularly messy environment, or (c) have a trait that makes them more focused on their hygiene than the average prisoner. Obviously, certain activities would decrease their hygiene faster (working out (sweaty!), working (also likely sweaty), fighting (bloody, even if they didn't themselves get hurt), running/escaping (sweaty), tunneling (dirty)); a prisoner who uses free time, doesn't work or work out, stays away from fights, and lies around reading a book all day shouldn't be annoyed at lack of a clean uniform until mid-morning the next day.
And prisoners shouldn't be homesick for family contact for, like, a week after getting a visit, and three days after making a phone call or receiving a letter. Unless, again, they have a trait of being more family-minded than most... or if they have little children (double how fast they get homesick), or if certain needs have gone unmet (a prisoner who feels Unsafe will want more comfort from family contact, and possibly one with addictions would also... not sure which others should count).
So those ones, at least, should be tweaked so as to not be so bizarrely fast. Immersion is a big thing for me in this game, trying very hard to meet the needs of the various prisoners, and things like "I'm starving after being in Solitary for twelve hours!" or "I'm gonna riot because I haven't gotten a clean shirt since this morning!" just annoy me.
All of these, collectively, should allow for a slower, more calm sense of time passing in prison, with enough space to educate the prisoners, to get to know them, to attend to their needs and see them better themselves as individuals -- much less the rapid-fire faceless masses that I've been dealing with so far.
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