So far, the mood system is one of the deepest in the game, but… it’s still not doing it for me. And I know that after all the other systems get fleshed out it’ll stick out less and maybe even get more interaction with those systems, but…
The mood system allows for a lot, but the gameplay it makes is pretty basic so far. You just want to remove negative effects, and assign jobs and make houses to gradually add up more positives. The traits mix it up a little, but right now it’s pretty predictable. And gradual. So my suggestion is simple:
- Have occasional random events that make a specific Hearthling more happy or sad. However, to make this a big deal over all the little thoughts you’d normally deal with, it’s going to have to be a larger shift - maybe almost an entire mood, or more.
- Some positive events might not trigger immediately - instead, the player has to take some action to allow the mood buff to happen once they get the notification.
- Give players a way of dealing with the negative events, even if it’s just waiting it out so your Hearthlings get over it, or counteracting it with a lot of smaller positive effects. As more systems come together (festivals?) this might be mostly dealt with, but I believe there should be multiple ways to solve problems.
I think it’s a simpler addition to the mood system (still complicated, but at least you don’t have to completely redesign another system, and you’ve already got code for adding thoughts [though I don’t know if that’s baked in to the Hearthling AI or if an outside source can do that too] and showing notifications [and traders are just as random as events could be]) that could add a lot more variety to the gameplay.